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A PRODUCTION BOOK FOR A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE 



by 

Rodney M. Wilson 
B. A., State College of Iowa, 1961 



A MASTER'S THESIS 



submitted in partial fulfillment of the 
requirements for the degree 

MASTER OP ARTS 
Department of Speech 



KANSAS STATE UNIVERSITY 
Manhattan, Kansas 



1966 

Approved by: 



Major Professor U 






TABLE OP CONTENTS 

Vocor 



BIOGRAPHICAL MATERIAL 5 



THEMATIC MATERIAL 



V; 



INTERPRETATION AND CHARACTER MATERIAL 66 

SETT ™ 97 

LIGHTING 107 

SCRIPT H5 

REHEARSAL DATA 280 

PERFORMANCE DATA 282 

LIST OP WORKS CONSULTED 284 



EXPLANATION FOR PLATE I 
Program for A Streetcar Named Desire 



Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2012 with funding from 

LYRASIS Members and Sloan Foundation 



http://archive.org/details/productionbookfoOOwils 



A Streetcar Named Desire 

CAST 

Eunice Hubbell Leanna Lenhart 

Stanley Kowalski John Dillon 

Stella Kowalski Ardis Horsch 

Steve Hubbell .Larry Hovey 

Harold Mitchell Frank Siegle 

Blanche DuBbis Lisa Valenti 

Pablo Gonzales Jeff Kless 

A Young Collector Tom Gillen 

Woman ••».. Yolanda Dozier 

Mexican Woman Glenda Apt 

Nurse Linda Rowland 

Doctor Phil Moore 



The action takes place in and around the squalid Kowalski flat 
in the French Quarter of New Orleans, Louisiana. 

Act I-Scene 1 A summer evening. 

Act I-Scene 2 6 p.m. the following evening. 

Act I-Scene 3 Later that night. 

Act I-Scene 4 Early the following morning. 

INTERMISSION 

Act H-Scene 1 Some weeks later. 
Act H-Scene 2 Later, about 2 a.m. 

INTERMISSION 

Act Hi-Scene 1 Some weeks later. 

Act m-Scene 2 Three quarters of an hour later. 

Act m-Scene 3 A while later that evening. 

Act Hi-Scene 4 A few hours later, same night. 

Act m-Scene 5 Some days later. 



PRODUCTION STAFF 

Stage Manager Susan Moore 

Assistant Stage Manager Jean Shackelford 

Scenery Daryl M. Wedwick, Technical Production Class 

Lighting Boyd Masten*, Suzanne Biggs, Bill Blackwell 

Properties Dee Haun, Karen Comerford, Sheryl McNevin 

Makeup Glenda Apt*, The Makeup Class 

Costumes jean Shackelford*, Deedee Miller 

Sound Susan Moore 

Posters Jamie Aiken 

Business Manager Pamela Malik 

House Manager. Ardis Horsch 



♦crew head 



Thesis advisor: Wallace Dace, Associate Professor of Speech 
Technical advisor: Carl Hinrichs 



•cu-d 00S8 



THEATRE STAFF FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF SPEECH 



Director 

Associate Director 

Technical Director 

Costumes 

Wardrobe Mistress 

Shop Foreman 

Head, Department of Speech 



Dennis Denning 
Wallace Dace 
Carl Hinrichs 
Betty Cleary 
Lydia Aseneta 
Chuck Boles 
Norma Bunton 



ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS 



University News Bureau 
The Manhattan Mercury 
The Collegian 



Mr. & Mrs. 
KSAC 

KMAN 



Robert Bird 



^ STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE" IS PRODUCED BY SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT WITH TE 

DRAMATISTS PLAY SERVICE 



EXPLANATION FOR PLATE II 

Manhattan Mercury Review by Dr. Jordan Y. Miller 

May 19 * 1966 



PLATE II 



Top Performance Given 
By Actors In 'Streetcar' 



The choice of plays and the 
quality of the productions of the 
Kansas State Players has been 
of a very high level over the 
past few years, and the final 
presentation of the current sea- 
son, "A Streetcar Named De- 
sire," stands unquestionably 
among the best. Last night's 
near capacity audience in the 
Purple Masque theatre was ob- 
viously deeply moved. The pro- 
longed and enthusiastic applause 
was for a performance of the 
highest caliber. 

This is undoubtedly Tennessee 

Williams' finest achievement. 
His portrait of the deeply dis- 
turbed Blanche DuBois, grasp- 
ing wildly at the last few straws 
that might save her tarnished 
dignity, and her life, in the 
midst of a brutally animalistic 
world, is surely one of the great 
characterizations of the modern 
American theatre. It is a plea- 
sure to report that young Lisa 
Valenti has caught the complexi- 
ties of this 'character with great 
skill. In voice and movement she 
shows plainly from her first en- 
trance that here is a person ex- 
periencing profound emotional 
difficulties. 

In a long, tiring role, difficult 
for the most accomplished pro- 
fessional to sustain, Miss Valen- 
ti never falters. Her near - se- 
duction of the innocent newsboy 
and her lengthy revelation of a 
good portion of her past to her 
suitor, Mitch, are particularly 
outstanding scenes. 

Williams' picture of the ape- 
man Stanley Kowalski, vulgar, 
uncouth, yet amazingly sympa- 
thetic in his primitive defense 
of his cave, is also an unfor- 
gettable creation. John Dillon, 
the "old pro" of the Players, 
handles another difficult role 
with his familiar polish. H i s 
crude but crafty battle against 
the intruder remains convincing 
throughout. 



The supporting cast is equal 
to these two antagonists. Ardis 
Horsch as Stella, torn between 
her earthy love for her mate and 
(lie frantic pleas of her sister 
to get away from it all, gives 
a highly sensitive performance. 
In a far less spectacular role, 
she conveys a genuine affection 
toward Stanley as well as a pro- 
found concern for the welfare 
of her sister. Frank Siegle as 
the mother - oriented Mitch, 
whose love could be the saving 
grace in Blanche's terrifying de- 
cline, is equally effective. I n 
lesser, but important roles, Le- 
anna Lenhart and Larry Hovey 
as the ever . fighting ever - 
loving Hubbell's create a fine 
impression in their profane but 
genuinely human neighborliness, 
always ready to aid the constant- 
ly troubled Kowalskis. 

Rod Wilson, the director, has 

undertaken an ambitious play 
for young amateur talent, but 
he has obviously handled them 
superbly. The scenery by Tech- 
nical Director Daryl Wedwick, 
even within the confines of the 
Purple Masque's tiny acting ar- 
ea, meets Williams' require- 
ments in nearly every respect. 
This is strong drama, exhaust- 
ing to perform as well as to 
watch. But Williams at his best 
is well worth watching, and "A 
Streetcar Named Desire" is Wil- 
liams at his best. Performances 
are tonight through Saturday at 
8 p.m. You should go and watch. 
— Jordan Y. Miller 



BIOGRAPHICAL MATERIAL 

The works of Tennessee Williams to many often seem to 
be confusing and contradictory, but they are no more so than 
the accounts of the author's life. The major source of in- 
formation on Williams is the playwright himself. And what 
better source, one would think. There appear to be some dis- 
tortions, however, in the story as pictured by Williams. His 
mother and other biographers do not paint the somewhat exag- 
gerated and confusing picture that Williams has created. 

A point in question is ' the date of birth of the play- 
wright. This is for most biographical studies the starting 
point from which the _story grows. In this story, however, 
there seems to be some confusion as to the actual date of 
birth. For some time the year 1914 was given as the year of 
Williams' birth. This confusion seems to arise from the fact 
that in 1939 , in order to enter a playwriting contest that the 
Group Theatre of New York was sponsoring for writers under 25, 
Williams cut three years off his age, and, after he was awarded 
a special citation, he did not bother to restore the years. 
The accepted date of birth now seems to be March 26, 1911. 

He also was believed to have been born in a rectory where 
his grandfather, an Episcopalian minister, was living at the 
time. His mother, however, disputes this and contends that he 



was indeed born in a hospital in Columbus, Mississippi, at 
which her father was serving as an Episcopal minister. Many 
of the other distortions and exaggerations found In the story 
of Williams are not so easily explained or clarified. 

Born Thomas Lanier Williams, he was the son of Cornelius 
Coffin Williams and Edwina Dakin Williams, a Southern family 
of the dying aristocracy. Thomas was to cling to his ties 
with the South and in later years to proclaim himself a South- 
ern writer. 

For the first seven years of his life, Williams, his 
mother and sister Rose (born two years prior to Williams in 
1909) lived with their maternal grandparents. The Williams 1 
family moved continually from parish to parish. They lived in 
numerous Mississippi and Tennessee towns. It was the life of 
a Southern gentleman that Williams came to live in these early 
years; this was to color his outlook on life for the remainder 
of his life. He has described his family background on several 
occasions, and the contrast between the family of his mother 
and that of his father always pictures a conflict that is to 
remain an area of struggle in the values and thoughts of 
Williams for all time. 

He pictures his father's family as barbaric, drinking, 
swearing, gambling, crude beings that created a life of ugll- 



ness; whereas he pictures his mother's family as the gentle 
aristocratic example of the old South. In hi3 mind the house 
of his maternal grandfather was always that of peace and tran- 
quility until his father would visit them about every two 
weeks; then it was filled with loud voices, heavy steps , and 
the sound of slamming doors. Within these pictures we find 
what seems to be the basl3 for the class struggle that haunts 
all of his major works. For within his recollections of his 
own family life, this theme comes to life as an Imposing ghost. 
In A_ Streetcar Named Desire many of the attributes that we find 
in Stanley are in reality those of his own father. The same 
is true of the characteristics of Blanche which he has drawn 
from the make up of his mother. 

Benjamin Nelson reveals in his work on Williams a picture 
of Tennessee's father. In reality Tennessee's father, Cornelius 
Williams, a blunt, stocky man with a quick and violent temper, 
traced his ancestry back to one of the oldest and most prominent 
families in Tennessee. He was reared by an older sister and 
spent his early year3 in Bell-Buckle Military Academy which 
seemed to stimulate his love for military life. V/hile attending 
the University of Tennessee law school, he resigned to become 
a second lieutenant in the Spanish-American War. A proud and 



8 



hard man, he liked his alcohol and rough humor and he U3ed 
profanity with the ready easiness of a man who knew and in- 
sisted upon his place in the center of his world. 

Edwina Dakln's parents were of Quaker-Germanic stock, 
gentle and patrician. Edwina' s mother was a lovely and 
charming woman, and her father a stately dignified minister 
for whom the term "gentleman" was fitting and proper. Edwina 
herself was a small, bird -like, beautiful young v/oman, com- 
posed and proper to the point of puritanism. She wa3 as un- 
like her husband as two people could be and almost from its 
inception her marriage to Williams became a struggle. Her 
parents, with whom the couple lived, had little regard for 
the salesman, and he in turn was cold to them. 

As a salesman Williams spent many days away from the 
so called home that he and Edwina had formed. The birth of 
the two children did not seem to mend the growing breach 
between the two. The only change that took place in the 
family situation was that Edwina became more and more ab- 
sorbed in the children and her relationship with her husband 
became less significant. All her love and attention was 
given to the children to the point of over-bearing protec- 
tion and concern. 



Tom seems to have been a weak and sickly boy from the 
beginning. This was not helped by the sheltered life which 
he led. Because his father spent much of his time away from 
home, the only home that Tom knew was that of his grandparents, 
where he lived with his mother, sister, grandmother and grand- 
father up to the age of seven. He was continually surrounded 
by women and his only playmate was his sister Rose. They 
formed such a close relationship that the rest of the world 
was completely excluded. They both sought all companionship 
in one another. They would spend hours playing all sorts of 
games together and spent almost no time with any other friends. 
It would appear that, surrounded by feminine influence and 
manners, Tom did not absorb the masculine mannerisms and ways 
that a boy does when he is under the influence of his father 
and other male Images. The soft, mild-mannered ways of his 
grandfather and the others seemed to provide the model that 
colored his life and created his inability to accept the male 
role of his father in the world of reality. 

At the age of five, Tom almost died when he contracted 
a serious case of diphtheria. The illness left him partially 
paralyzed and with a kidney ailment. In bed for months, it 
was two years before he was able to regain complete use of 



10 



his legs; he missed a full year of school; and as a conse- 
quence, both his mother and grandmother became increasingly 
protective. Mrs. Williams wa3 afraid to allow him to play 
with other children and, in his own words, he became delicate 
and sissified. 

The most shattering experience of his life was yet to 
occur. In 1918 his father was promoted to a managerial pos- 
ition with the International Shoe Company's subsidiary in St. 
Louis. Leaving the rural leisurely community of Clarksdale 
and the Reverend and Mrs. Dakln, the Williams' family moved to 
St. Louis. 

The uprooting for Rose and her brother was a vio- 
lent one which, in their minds, wa3 not less ter- 
rifying than a fall from grace. 'It was a tragic 
move, neither my sister nor I could adjust our- 
selves to life in a mldwestern city.' 

The family moved into a small apartment during the early 
years in St. Louis. For Williams it was a dim little apart- 
ment in a line of shabby identical structures within a city 
of concrete and steel. Williams pictures his concept of the 
apartments they lived in in the setting of The Glass Menagerie 
This change from the beautiful and refreshing countrysides of 

Benjamin Nelson, Tennessee Williams (New York, 1961), 
p. 6. 



11 



Mississippi to the confines of the city was an unbearable 

and depressing situation for him. Williams himself describes 

the change in social status: 

In the South we had never been conscious of the 
fact that we were economically less fortunate 
than others. We lived as well as anyone else. 
But in St. Louis we suddenly discovered there' 
were two kinds of people, the rich and the poor 
and that we belonged more to the latter. . . . 
If I had been born to this situation I might 
not have resented it deeply. But it was forced 
upon my consciousness at the most sensitive age 
of childhood. It produced a shock and a rebel- 
lion that has grown into an inherent part of my 
work. 

This change in environment caused a greater hostility 
towards his father than had existed before, but its repercus- 
sions did not end there, for the new situation forced him to 
find greater seclusion within himself and to resent and see 
with distaste all that surrounded him. Shortly after this 
move he returned to school, a place for which he held no 
great love, and at this time he found even greater distaste for 
it. He was disliked and tormented by those around him for his 
Southern speech and his lack of masculine mannerisms , and was 
often chased home by the boys. Even his father began to chide 
him about his femininity and to call him girls names. 



2 Nelson, p. 7. 



12 



Shortly after their move to St. Louis in 1918, in 1919 

a second son was born to the Williams' family and named Walter 

Dakln. With the birth of her second son, Edwina became quite 

ill and developed tuberculosis. Tom was once again placed in 

the care of his grandparents. For Tom this was a happy moment 

for it revived for him a way of life in which he had found the 

greatest happiness. Tom as a young man, in fact, reflected his 

own thoughts of his early life in the home of his grandparents. 

Before I was eight my life was completely un- 
shadowed by fear. I lived in a small Mississ- 
ippi town. My mother and my sister and I lived 
with our grandparents while my father travelled 
around the state, selling clothing to men. My 
sister and I were gloriously happy. We sailed 
paper boat3 in wash-tubs of water, cut lovely 
paper-dolls out of huge mail-order catalogs, kept two 
white rabbits under the back porch, baked mud pies 
in the sun upon the front walk, climbed up and slid 
down the big wood pile, collected from neighboring 
alleys and trash-pile3 bits of colored glass that were 
diamonds and rubies and sapphires and emeralds. And 
in the evenings, when the white moonlight streamed 
over our bed, before we were asleep, our Negro nurse 
Ozzie, as warm and black as a moonless Mississippi 
night, would lean above our bed, tailing in a low, 
rich voice her amazing tales about foxes and bears 
and rabbits and wolves that behaved like human beings.- 1 

Continually rebuffed by school mates and feeling alone in 

a city which he hated, he began to withdraw from the world. 

Because of this he became an avid reader, and this search into 

3 Edwina Dakin Williams, Remember Me To Tom (New York, 1963)* 
p. 19. 



13 



the realm of literature led him into the creative field of 
which he waa to become a signlf leant part. With hi3 booka 
and Roae he waa happy and enjoyed a life full of Imagination 
and creation that waa aufficiant for him to survive. When he 
waa eleven, however, the companionahip and love, the cloaeneaa 
of aharing that he and Roae had known auddenly ended. Rose 
now reached the period in her life when ahe waa to become a 
young lady. Thia change in the phyaical and mental make-up 
of Roae was one to which ahe never adju3ted — 3he became a lost 
peraon between childhood and womanhood and never fully accepted 
the role of a woman. The loss of the companionship of Rose 
was a difficult experience for Williams. He wrote of her: 
"My aiater had been magically suited to the wild country of 
childhood but it remained to be seen how she would adapt her- 
self to the uniform and yet more complex world.' With the loaa 
of her companionship, Williams began to occupy all of his time 
in writing. When he was eleven, Edwina bought him a typewriter 
and this became his constant companion and friend. His first 
real composition, written when he was twelve, was inspired by a 
picture .of Tennyson's heroine, the Lady of Shallot. Once he 
began to write, it became an incesaant compulaion with him. 



^ Nelaon, p. 12. 



1*» 



He said, "It came quite naturally to me, because I led such 

n 5 

an intense interior life. At the age of fourteen he received 

his first writing award and had decided that writing wa3 the 
career for him. This award consisted of a prize given by the 
magazine Smart Set for his essay on the subject "Can a Good 
Wife Be A Good Sport?" For his effort he won twenty-five dol- 
lars. 

Once again the father image invaded the world of Williams 
v/ith his condemnation of writing which he felt was a waste of 
time and showed a lack of responsibility. This, however, did 
not deter the young writer; and entering every contest he could, 
he soon won a second prize for the best review of the motion 
picture Stella Dallas and was awarded ten dollars. During his 
junior year in high school he published his first short story 
and received his largest monetary return to date — thirty-five 
dollars. Written when he was sixteen and published in the 
July, 1928, issue of Weird Tales , it was titled "The Vengeance 
of Nitocris" and drew upon a paragraph in the ancient histories 
of Herodotus. Along with his preoccupation with horror tales 
he was fascinated by Edna St. Vincent Millay and he wrote many 
poems. Williams continued to alienate himself from the world 



2 Nelson, p. 15. 



15 



and to lose himself in his writing. In 1929 he graduated from 
high school and in the autumn of that year entered the Univer- 
sity of Missouri at Columbia, Missouri, as a Journalism major. 
His first year at the University was a success. He Joined a 
fraternity, and hi3 grades improved from those that he had 
achieved previously. At the same time he fell in love with a 
girl named Hazel Kramer. She had been his partner in high 
school and the affection which they held for each other contin- 
ued to grow. She was a year younger than he, and as she fin- 
ished her high school career and he began his college life, they 
spent as much of his vacations together as possible. She planned 
to enter the University of Missouri the next year, but when 
Father Williams heard, he applied pressure to Hazel's grand- 
father, who was an employee of the International Shoe Company, 
to keep his granddaughter from attending the University. She 
then was forced to attend the University of Wisconsin. With 
the absence of this relationship, Williams rapidly lost inter- 
est in college. He angered his father further by failing his 
ROTC course. His third year in college was marked by an in- 
creasing- apathy. It was now 1932, the height of the Depression, 
and his father, noting that his son's grades were continually 
slipping, and possessing little patience for the young man's 
literary ambitions in the face of difficult times, withdrew 



16 



the boy from college. He then sent him to a business school 
for a course in stenography and obtained for him a position 
with the International Shoe Company at sixty-five dollars per 
month. 

Williams worked for the next three year3 at the shoe 
company. He pictures his dislike for the position and his 
feeling of entrapment in his play The Glass Menagerie . He 
not only hated the job and all that was connected with it, 
but he wa3 not competent in the position, and if it had not 
been for his father, he would have been fired immediately. 

Now forced into the man's world of commerce and compet- 
ition, he could not even find refuge In the women folk at home 
as he had done in previous years. His mother and Rose had 
both turned away from him, and he was now completely alone with 
little or no companionship except for his typewriter. He would 
come home from the confines of the factory and sit at his type- 
writer the rest of the night writing anything that came to his 
mind and would only stop to return to work the next morning. In 
1935 the new3 of the marriage of Hazel and his endless night 
life carried him to a nervous breakdown. The breakdown was not 
a serious one, but it resulted in the loss of his job, and he 
once again retreated to the seculsion of the home of his grand- 



17 



parents. It wa3 during this summer visit in Memphis, Tenn- 
essee, that he wrote his first play. He met a young lady who 
lived near his grandparents who was very interested in a small 
summer theatre called the Rose Arbor and she encouraged Williams 
to write a play for this group. So he wrote a comedy called 
Cairol Shanghai! Bombay 1 and it was produced that summer and 
appears to have been very well received. The play involved 
two young sailors who while on shore leave pick up two girls 
and have a series of riotous adventures. 

That fall he returned to St. Louis with an apparent desire 
to complete his college education and a passion for the writing 
of plays, for he enrolled at Washington University of St. Louis 
and became involved with a small group of writers and poets. 
He began to turn out plays just as rapidly and frantically as 
he had done in the previous years with his other writing. He 
now became strong friends with another member of this literary 
group by the name of Clark Mills McBurney. They spent many of 
their free hours together and most of his writing took place in 
the basement of the McBurney home. This period was not only 
one of creation but of extensive reading and study into the 
art of which he wa3 to become a leader. He read Rimbaud and 
Rllke, Garcia Lorca, Chekhov , Wilde, Melville, Stephen Crane and 



18 



D. H. Lawrence. At one point Williams began a play about 
Lawrence, with whom he was particularly taken, but the drama 
did not materialize for a few years until he revised and com- 
pleted it under the title, I_ Rise In Flame , Cried the Phoenix . 
The writers that seemed to most interest Williams were Lorca, 
Chekhov and Lawrence. Williams loved the beautiful lyricism 
of the works of Lorca and found particular fascination in the 
theme of Chekhov's of one civilization giving way helplessly 
but inevitably before enother, and indeed this became a major 
theme of Williams — in particular the sacrifice of the Southern 
way of life to contemporary society. Benjamin Nelson states 
that Williams seemed to be fascinated by the Russian writer's 
ability to exaggerate a momentary experience. This technique 
of illumination was the goal of the young Southern writer. 

More than any other, however, Williams was captivated by 
the poetry and, In fact, the life of Hart Crane, whose tragic 
family life rang true in Williams' own background. Crane 
committed suicide in 1932, and his life and death Williams 
pictured as the tragedy of a poet. This experience with Crane 
had an immense effect upon Williams, and he has used many of 
the poem3 of Crane in thoughts that he has conveyed. The 
Signet book version of £ Streetcar Named Desire includes a 
poem of Hart Crane. The poem reads: 



19 



And so it was I entered the broken world 
To trace the visionary company of live, its voice 
An instant in the wind (I know not whither hurled) 
But not for long to hold each desperate choice. 

"The Broken Tower" by Hart Crane 

In 1936 Williams wrote a short story v/hich was to later 
become the basis for the plays 2£ Wagons Full of Cotton and 
eventually, Baby Doll . 

The second play of Williams to be performed, a romantic 
drama about a young married couple, was entitled The Magic 
Tower . For this endeavor he was presented with a sterling silver 
cake dish. At last Williams was a senior at Washington Univer- 
sity, and during this year he became a member of the theatre 
group the Mummers. They were leftist, rebellious, Bohemian and 
super-charged with daring and inventiveness. This period with 
the Mummers more than any other established Williams as a play- 
wright in his own mind. The first work that Williams wrote for 
the Mummers was in connection with a presentation of Irwin Shaw's 
one-act pacifist drama, Bury the Dead . Williams was asked to 
write a curtain-raiser to finish out the two hour program that 
was needed. He wrote a pacifist sketch called Headlines which 
received "its initial presentation on Armistice Day of 1936 and 
was well received by both audience and pres3. Since its fun- 
ction, however, was to introduce the Shaw play, Williams' name 



20 



was not even mentioned on the program. Williams was elated 
with his association with the Mummers and his new status as 
a playwright who was being produced. 

In college he entered a playwriting contest sponsored 
by the drama department with his play, Me, Vashya * The play 
dealt with a munitions maker who during World War I sold his 
products alternately to the highest bidders. The play did not 
win the contest, and Williams, who has always been extremely 
sensitive to whatever he feels to be snub or lack of deserved 
recognition, became furious with Professor William G. B. Carson 
and began to lose interest in school. His grades declined 
rapidly and in a letter he denounced both the university and 
the dean. For this or his failing grade in Greek he was 
dropped from the university in June of 1937. This period was 
also one of home problems and the growth of a greater gap bet- 
ween him and all members of his family. His only concern was 
his sister Rose, and even their situation seemed to worsen, so 
he turned once more to his work. In 1936 he wrote Candles to 
the Sun, a violent story of Alabama coal miners. A year later 
the Mummers presented it to an enthusiastic response from 
audience and critics alike. The St. Loui3 Post - Dispatch 
summed it up as a drama of "Poverty, degeneracy, accidents 



21 



on the fifth level below ground, a strike and a brutal murder, 
ending with beans for everybody, hope and the singing of 
• solidarity forever, ' 

In 1937 Rose Williams finally had to be committed to a 
hospital because of decline in her mental state. Rather than 
have her committed to an asylum for life, the family had a 
prefrontal lobotomy performed which rendered her passive and 
meant that she would need constant care for the rest of her 
life. She was then committed to a sanitarium. Because of 
this Rose became an integral part of Williams 1 life and work. 
He completely separated himself from any home life for he saw 
it as a relationship in which he had been tormented and mis- 
understood and which finally destroyed Rose. In September of 
1937 he left St. Louis and enrolled at the University of Iowa. 
With help from hi3 grandmother and through various odd jobs, 
he was able to pay the expenses of his education. At Iowa he 
wrote two new full-length plays and revised the earlier written 
Fugitive Kind . He sent the new script to the Mummers who pro- 
duced it in the winter of 1938. The play was heavily criti- 
cised for its lack of unity. Williams was always open to crit- 
icism except when he had a work that he felt was complete, and 

Nelson, p. 33. 



22 



then the criticism became for him a personal attack. 

The other two plays were written for the late Professor 
E. C. Mabie's seminar in play writing. The first of these 
was titled Spring Storm . Williams read this for the class, 
and when he had finished he describes Professor Mabies' re- 
action in this way; 

When I had finished reading, the good professor's 
eyes had a glassy look as though he had drifted 
into a state of trance. There was a long and all 
but unendurable silence. Everyone seemed more or 
. less embarrassed. At last the professor pushed back 
his chair, thus dismissing the seminar, and remarked 
casually and kindly, "Well, we all have to paint our 
nudes'" 7 

The second play was begun at Iowa but finished in St. Louis 
in the summer of 1938. It was entitled Not About Nightingales 
and dealt with a prison riot based on an actual occurrence at 
that time : the literal roasting alive of a group of convicts 
sent for disciplining to a hot room called "The Klondike." 
He felt this was his best work to date. 

In the spring of 1938 at the age of twenty-seven, Williams 
received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of 
Iowa. He submitted his new play to the Mummers, but the De- 
pression hit the group at this time and for lack of finances 
they were forced to close. With the death of the Mummers all 



7 Nelson, p. 36. 



23 



that had held him in St. Louis had ended. He moved to Chicago 
and attempted to find a position with the W.P.A. Writers' pro- 
ject. He was unsuccessful because his work was deemed lacking 
in the social content and protest which were the cardinal vir- 
tues attributed to writing by the project. Also, he could not 
prove his family was destitute, since it obviously was not; and 
thirdly his manner and traces of refinement made him seem too 
light hearted and in his own words "decadent" to the conscien- 
tous and ruggedly energetic forces behind the Chicago project. 
He then moved back to St. Louis, and in an attempt to at 
last break all the old family ties he set out for New Orleans. 
In New Orleans he tried for the second time to Join the Writers* 
Project or the Theatre Project and was again unsuccessful. Wil- 
liams then took assorted Jobs to survive in the city. He began 
to develop in this winter of 1938-39 the characteristics of a 
Bohemian. His friends were the strange and bizarre characters 
of the French quarter and his link with this society was to 
color a major portion of his plays. He became a vagabond as 
many were in this area, and this sense of freedom from the 
restrictions of society and the rules that chained it was to 
be an inspiration to him. His life in New Orleans was filled 
with companionship of procurers, homosexuals and prostitutes 



24 



and many others of the night world that surrounded him. He 

found in New Orleans two cities — that of day and that of 

night — and he chose, it seems, to become one of the night. 

His life became wild experience of drinking, sex, excitement 

and everything to excess. For the first time he was able to 

give way to his passions, desires and frustrations. If he 

could never be the man hi3 father wanted, he would be, here 

in New Orleans, what he wanted. 

I found the kind of freedom I had always needed. 
And the shock of it against the puritanism of 
my nature has given me a subject, a theme, which 
I have never ceased exploiting. 

The Puritan and Bohemian clashed now in this new life and 
this struggle of the two ways of life was to become the major 
theme of many of his works. It was also at this time that he 
dropped his name Thomas and took the name Tennessee. Many 
reasons have been given but they all boil down to the point 
that he seems to have preferred this name for his writing car- 
eer, and it seemed to give a strength to his name and character 
that Thomas lacked. He also remarked to his mother at one time 
that everyone had the name Thomas, so his dislike for this name 
seems to have had a long history. 



Nelson, p. 39. 



25 



This winter Tennessee wrote one-act play3 dealing for the 
most part with the individual's struggle for freedom in the 
face of hopeless odds. Some of these were incorporated into a 
collection titled American Blues , which is marked by the social 
consciousness of its author. 

The greatest turning point in Williams 1 life came when he 
read an article in which he learned that the Group Theatre of 
New York was sponsoring a playwriting contest for writers 
twenty -five years of age or younger. Although he was now 
twenty -eight, he entered the contest. He submitted his four 
long plays, Candles to the Sun , The Fugitive Kind , Spring Storm, 
and Not About Nightingales , together with a group of the one- 
act American Blues selection he had written during the winter. 
He seems to have forgotten the contest after entering it and 
at this time packed up his few belongings and took off for 
California in the spring of 1939 after an adventurous and 
penniless trip through the Southwest. Williams took a job in 
a bootery in Culver City, and he and his companion settled on 
a pigeon ranch ten miles away. 

Early that spring, Williams returned from work to find a 
letter waiting for him. It contained a citation from the 
Group Theatre which read: To Tennessee Williams, twenty- 
four years old, of New Orleans, for American Blues a group of 



26 



three sketches which constitute a full-length play. Far more 

important for the moment, however, was a check for 100 dollars 

included with the citation, Williams was overjoyed at this 

honor, and to celebrate he quit his Job at the Bootery and with 

his friend he went to Tijuana and then back as far as Laguana 

Beach where they spent the summer living on the hundred dollar 

award. It was at this time that Audrey Wood, an agent in New 

York, took notice of the works of Williams and wrote him in 

California offering her services as an agent. Williams 1 first 

reply asked her to read his works first and to see if she was 

still interested. She did so and wrote him once again offering 

her services and this time he replied. 

My personal affairs are in quite a muddle right 
now. I am high and dry on the beach. I would 
Jump into the arms of any agent who cculd assure 
me the quick sale of anything— even my soul to 
the devil. ^ 

So he and Miss Wood Joined company in a league that was to 
become a very close relationship and a very successful one. 
In June of that year 141 ss Wood sent him a Rockefeller Fellowship 
application and twenty-five dollars from Story magazine which 
had bought one of his short stories, "The Field of Blue Child- 
ren." He was grateful for this financial aid and was able now 



9 Nelson, p. 43. 



27 



to have his typewriter repaired and continue his writing. When 
the money was gone, he returned to St. Louis with some money 
that his grandmother had sent him. In the autumn of 1939 he 
finished his new long play Battle of Angels . He believed that 
this was the best thing that he had written , but Miss Wood had 
no luck at all in interesting anyone in the work. In December, 
however, he received word from her that he had been awarded a 
Rockefeller Grant for a thousand dollars and that he was to 
come immediately to New York. Williams arrived in New York 
and enrolled at the New School for Social Research where Theresa 
Helburn and John Gassner were conducting a seminar in advanced 
playwriting. Attending the seminar for the spring session of 
1940, Williams completed a new draft of Battle of Angels which 
Gassner proclaimed one of the finest new scripts he had seen in 
a number of years. As a director of the Theatre Guild, Gassner 
was urging them to take an option on the play. Not yet thirty 
years old, Tennessee Williams was going to have a play produced 
by the most venerable organization in the American theatre. 
He left the 3diool for the summer and journeyed to New Mexico 
where he visited with Mrs. Lawrence and obtained her permission 
to begin a play about her husband. He finished the final re- 
vision of Battle of Angels at the same time and returned to 
New York to begin work with the Theatre Guild on its production. 



23 



The play opened in Boston at the Wilbur Theatre December 30, 
1940, and as the performance got under way, it was apparent 
that something was wrong. At first the audience was shocked 
into silence. Then hisses and boos began and soon reached such 
volume that the actors 1 word3 were drowned out. Williams later 
recalled the tragic night with wonderment. "I never heard 
of an audience getting so infuriated." The reaction "made 
Miriam Hopkins who played the lead so mad she began to scream 
her lines above the hissing. Then they stamped their feet, and 
after a while most of them got up and left, banging their seats 
behind them." 11 

The critics groped for words. Only one reviewer was 
favorable; he wrote that Williams' talent was "most interesting." 
The review in the Globe started "one of the most incredible 
dramas ever presented in Boston ..." To another critic Val 
was a "half-wit living a defensive life against predatory 
women." 12 What Tennessee Williams had conceived as the "tragedy 
of a wandering poet who brought both salvation and destruction 
to a love -starved Southern woman, thereby incurring his own 

10 Nancy M. Tischler, Tennessee Williams; Rebellious Puritan 
(New York, 1965), P. 82." 

11 Ti3chler, p. 82. 

12 Tischler, p. 83. 



29 



crucifixion, became to the watch and ward society indecent ex- 
posure of a hillbilly Lothario. ul 3 The Boston City Council 
demanded that the play be closed till censored to meet Boston 
moral standards. The attack on the charge of morality was a 
complete surprise to Williams who said: 

Why had I never dreamed that such struggles could 
strike many people as filthy and seem to them 
unfit for articulation? Oh, if I had written a play 
full of licentious wiggling in filmy costumes, re- 
plete with allusions to the latrine, a play that 
was built about some titillating and vulgarly 
ribald predicament in a bedroom — why then I would 
feel apprehensive about its moral valuation. 
However it seemed to me that if Battle of Angels 
was nothing else, it certainly was clean, it was 
certainly idealistic. ^ 

The audience's reaction left Williams very resentful and the 
reception to what would remain his favorite work almost des- 
troyed his desire to write. He was very discouraged and had 
lost the first battle in his constant struggle to acheive any 
form of security and recognition. The Theatre Guild gave him 
two hundred dollars and advised him to go off somewhere and 
rewrite the play, which he did. When he had finished it, he 
sent it back to the Theatre Guild; however, they had decided 
to abandon the play altogether, and this was a real blow to 



13 Tischler, p. 83. 
l2 * Tischler, p. 85. 



30 



its author. They did, however, express their belief that he 
could write and advised him to continue doing so and the next 
play might be accepted. 

He once again returned to New Orleans and settled for the 
next two years in a slum area in the Vieux Carre. With the 
Rockefeller Grant and the small royalty from his one -acts, he 
began to revise what he considered his greatest work, Battle 
of Angels . While in New Orleans he wrote several short stories 
and one-acts depicting the people, the mood, and the scene of 
New Orleans. In this period he wrote the following works 
which in some cases were to be the basis for later works. The 
Lady of Larkspur Lotion pictures the Southern belle turned 
prostitute. Like Portrait of a Madonna , it is an early sketch 
of a completely degenerate Blanche DuBois. Lord Byron ' s Love 
Letter is the story of an old woman who, years before had had 
an illegitimate child by Lord Byron and still preserves his 
letters and the idealized memory of the romance that started 
in Greece. By displaying these letters to tourists she earns 
enough money to continue her meager existence in the Quarter. 
One Arm is about a one-armed male prostitute who solicited in 
this region before his arrest for the murder of a male client. 
In The An%el in the Alcove, a male artist rapes a young writer 



31 



who lives in the same rooming house. And Auto Da-Fe records 
the sick thoughts of a mamma's boy as he turns his pyromaniac 
fantasies into the mission of cleansing the corrupt Vieux 
Carre with fire. 

His other stories and plays of this time are also of this 
same cast of the deranged, artistic, lonely, and mutilated— of 
prostitutes, homosexuals, nymphomaniacs, painters, writers, 
neurotics— the 3ick or frightened or confused or alone. New 
Orleans and his own situation appear to have given Williams 
an obsession for the outcast theme. Williams now journeyed 
to Mexico City and further work on Battle of Angels . He then 
heard from the New York Drama School that they wished to revive 
the play for Broadway. Williams rushed to New York, but by 
the time he arrived they had decided not to do the play. 
Williams spent the following winter in Greenwich Village where 
he worked as a waiter in a nightclub. This period in his life 
was meager and very unhappy. He did, however, collaborate with 
a friend, Donald Windham, on a comedy called You Touched Me I 
a play that was to open on Broadway in three years. This was 
19^3 and Jie took various jobs to stay alive, but when the 
Rockefeller Grant ran out he had to retreat to his grandparent's 
home. He later received notice from Miss Wood to come to New 
York where she had obtained a position w^th M.G.M. for him 



32 



paying two hundred and fifty dollars a week. He went to New 
York and then to Hollywood. 

Williams was under a six-month contract to M.G.M. on 
the basis of his one-acter3 and Battle of Anp;cl3 . He was 
assigned to write scenarios of pictures that he felt were 
Junk, and when assigned to write his second scenario for a 
child star, he refused. After his unsuccessful attempts at 
writing several scripts, he submitted a synopsis for a film 
he referred to as the Gentleman Caller . Shortly after this he 
was told to pick up his pay and be on his way. With his pay he 
spent the rest of his contract time at the beach writing the 
Gentleman Caller a which he renamed The Glas3 Menagerie . At 
the same time he wrote a short story titled The Hat tress in 
the Tomato Patch , which describes "his solidly contented land- 
lady, the tanned athletes who roamed the beach and the house, 
and the richness of the sun -worshipping life— symbolized by 
the lushness of a bowlful of ripe tomatoes on his desk. ul 5 

This was a very happy period for Williams, for once he 
had enough money to survive on and a good idea for a new play. 
He sent it at once to Miss Wood, and she was so moved with it 



15 Tischler, p. 92. 



33 



that she began at once to try to find the right person to 
direct this very delicate and moving creation. She sent it to 
Eddie Dcwling, for she thought that he could produce it with 
the proper touch. The play is in most respects a play of his 
own life and family, but it was far more difficult for him to 
write than most would believe. The play opened in Chicago to 
rave reviews and cries from the audience for the author. The 
play proceeded to New York where it was greeted with anticipa- 
tion. Once again the audience called for the author. The 
Glass Menagerie wa3 given the Critics' Award on April 10, 19^5 
and ran for nearly two years on Broadway. Williams was, how- 
ever, not convinced that he could write any succeeding plays 
that would win such acclaim. In fact, some critics suggested 
that the play's success was due to the actors and director 
rather than the talent of the playwright. 

As his income began to rise, Williams signed fifty per cent 
of his earnings over to his mother. He then 30ld the play to 
Warner Brothers for the movie version. So at last Williams 
seems to have found real success. 

With the success of The Glass Menagerie, Williams found 
himself with more friends and admirers than he knew existed; 
he was besieged by reporters and columnists, and he found 



34 



himself in a sophisticated New York hotel, living on room 
service and adulation. Williams hated this fake life — this 
life of pretense. With The Gla33 Menagerie e stablished , 
Donald Winham immediately set about preparing their collabor- 
ation of You Touched Me I for a Broadway opening. It was al- 
most with a sense of relief that he entered the hospital for 
the fourth time in five years to have another eye operation. 
He had a problem with cataracts and the operation like the 
three preceding, was only partially successful. But the es- 
cape from the captive life that he had been living was wel- 
comed by the author. The run of You Touched Mel proved to be 
a short one of a few months. Williams did not stay in New 
York to watch it close; he journeyed to Mexico and Texas work- 
ing alternately on The Poker Night and Summer and Smoke . Just 
prior to this time William Inge and Williams had become close 
friends. He now helped Inge by reading many of his plays and 
giving his thoughts on the creations. Williams' influence on 
William Inge was paralleled by the encouragement he gave to 
another young writer Carson McCullers. Carson was a well- 
known literary personality by the time she met Tennessee 
Williams. In the summer of 19^6, Williams rented a cottage 
on Nantucket Island where he hoped to spend the summer com- 



35 



pleting Summer and Smoke . But In June he once again felt that 
he wa3 going to die of a heart attack before the end of the 
summer. This idea had plagued him since his illness at the age 
of five. In a state of panic he wrote to Carson McCullers and 
asked her to keep him company. She accepted his invitation and 
spent the summer as his guest. He wrote Summer and Smoke and 
she began her first play The Member of the Wedding . By the 
autumn of 19^6 Summer and Smoke was completed but open to revis- 
ion. Williams took it to Margo Jones who was very impressed 
with it and set to produce it the following summer in her 
Dallas arena theatre. 

In the early months of 1947 he went to Key West with his 
grandfather where he hoped to finish the second play. His 
grandmother had died of cancer in 19^3 a and once again one of 
the few members of his family whom he loved and held dear was 
removed from him. After her death he spent a great deal of 
time with his grandfather, determined to show his grandfather 
the affection and attention he was never able to express to 
his grandmother. 

In-Key West Williams completely rewrote The Poker Night 
in a month and sent it to Audrey Wood who read it in February 
of 19^7 and was overwhelmed by it. Miss Wood arranged for 



36 



Irene Selznick to meet Williams, for she hoped that Mrs. 
Selznick would produce the play for Williams. 

Williams then returned to New York to be present for the 
casting and to revise Summer and Smoke for production by Margo 
Jone3. Elia Kazan was signed as director of The Poker Niftht . 
The parts of the two leading female protagonists, Blanche 
DuBois and her sister Stella, went to Jessica Tandy and Kim 
Plunter; Karl Maiden was chosen to portray Blanche's timid 
■suitor, Harold Mitchell; and a young actor named Marlon Brando 
was chosen for the role of the virile and brutish Stanley 
Kowalski. Prior to the opening rehearsals, Williams changed 
the name of the play to A. Streetcar Named Desire . 

With the opening of The Glass Menagerie on March 31, 19^5* 
Tennessee Williams was acclaimed as a successful playwright. 
Not until the opening of A, Streetcar Named Desire on December 
3, 19^7j clid Williams truly reach success. He was from this 
time forward one of the country's leading playwrights, and his 
life as well as his works became public record. Since that 
time he has averaged a play every two years. The majority of 
his playis have been financially successful and most of them 
have been well received by the critics. The plays in the order 
of their production on Broadway are Summer and Smoke J 19^8, 



37 



Rose Tattoo, 1951, C amino Real, 1953, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, 
1955, Orpheus Descending , 1957, Suddenly Last Summer, 1958, 
Sweet Bird of Youth, 1959, Period of Adjustment , i960, The 
Nlftht of the Iguana, 1961, and The Milk Train Doesn't Stop 
Here Any More, 19o3. His greatest commercial and critical 
successes have been The Glass Menagerie, A_ Streetcar Named 
Desire, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, and The Night of the Iguana . 
These plays not only had the longest runs, but they all re- 
ceived the Drama Critics Circle Award and two of them, A 
Streetcar Named Desire and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof , were given 
the Pulitzer Prize. 

Williams is still a relatively young man, so it remains 
to be seen how many more successes he will have. No matter 
what his further contributions, however, he will always hold 
a very significant position in American drama. 



33 



THEMATIC MATERIAL 

A_ Streetcar Named Desire opened in New York on December 
3 j 19^7 * at the Barrymore Theatre to rave reviews and enor- 
mous popular acclaim. Brooks Atkinson Wrote in his review, 
"Almost unbearably tragic." He commented on the audience 
reaction, "Profoundly moved. . . . For they have been sit- 
ting all evening in the presence of truth, and that is a rare 
and wonderful experience. Since Blanche is created on the 
stage as a distinct individual, experiences identical with 
hers can never be repeated. She and the play, that is 
woven about her, are unique. 

Joseph Wood Krutch wrote, "in spite of the sensational 
quality of the story the author's perceptions remain subtle 
and delicate and he is amazingly aware of nuances even in 
situations where nuance might seem to be inevitably obliter- 
ated by violence. . . . His plays will be immediately recog- 
nizable by their familiar themes and a sensibility as unique 
as that of a lyric poet." ' 

This was not the first time Williams had received great 

16 Signi Falk, Tennessee Williams (New York, 196l), P. 89-90. 

17 palk, p. 90. 



39' 



acclaim however, for he was not a new figure in the theatrical 
world. He had spent a long and arduous apprenticeship in the 
theatre. Like Moliere, he learned his craft away from the 
influences of the commercial theatre. He began his theatri- 
cal career with a group called "The Mummers" of St. Louis , 
Missouri. Williams said of his experience with this group: 

The Mummers of St. Louis were my professional 
youth. They were the disorderly theatre group 
of St. Louis , standing socially, if not also 
artistically, opposite to the usual little 
theatre group . . . 

Dynamism was what The Mummer 3 had, and for 
about five years — roughly from about 1935 
to 1940 — they burned like one of Miss Millay's 
improvident little candles — and then expired. 
Yes, there was about them that kind of ex- 
cessive romanticism which is the best and 
purest part of life. 

They put on bad shows sometimes, but they 
never put on a shov; that didn't deliver a 
punch to the solar plexus, maybe not in 
the first act, maybe not in the second, 
but always at last a good hard punch was 
delivered, and it made a differnece in the 
lives of the spectators that they had come 
to that place and seen that show. 

It was during the thirties that Williams began to ex- 
periment seriously with his idea of dramatic form. The short 
plays oi the series 2£ Wagons Full of Cotton and American Blues 

^ Esther Merle Jackson, The Broken World of Tennessee Williams 
(Madison & Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 1965), p. xivT 



40 



were his early experimentations, but they are indications of 
what was to come in later years. Williams returned to many 
of his early works for the basis of his later creations. Many 
of his longer works are combinations of 3hort stories and 
poetic themes. Williams suggests that each of his play3 re- 
presents, "a glimpse of reality, a momentary image drawn out of 
the flux." 1 ^ Williams writes of his continuing effort to re- 
cord his changing vision, "A play is never old until you stop 
working on it." 20 

1 Before the acclaim accorded A Streetcar Named Desire, Will- 
iams had another major success with The Glass Menagerie , which 
opened in 19^5. 

The question of what Tennessee Williams is attempting to 
say in A^ Streetcar Named Desire and the form that he uses to 
achieve hi3 purpose is the question that is to be considered 
in the following paragraphs. When asked what his plays mean 
and what they are about, Williams retorts, "They are about 
life.' 4 ' 21 



*9 Jackson, p. xvi. 
20 Jackson, p. xvi. 



21 Jackson, p xvi 



41 



In a seminar on Camlno Real in Bochum, Germany, in 1953* 
the scholars at this meeting Identified Williams' linguistic 
structure a3, "expressionist in kind, but his form has been 
clothed in symbolic contents which are specifically related to 
the American imagination." 

For Williams, "the play is an ordered progression of con- 
crete images, images which together give sensible shape to what 
he calls the lyric moment. " 2 3 Williams himself describes the 
lyric moment in this way: 

In a play time is arrested in the sense of being 
confined by a sort of legerdemain, events are made 
to remain events, rather than being reduced so 
quickly to mere occurrences. The audience can sit 
back in a comforting dusk to watch a world which 
is flooded with light and in which emotion and 
action have a dimension and dignity that they would 
likewise have in real existence, if only the shattering 
intrusion of time could be locked out. 

The concept of the race against time becomes a significant fac- 
tor in most of Williams 1 plays. In A Streetcar Named Desire a 
major factor in Blanche's struggle is the lack of time. She 
has lost her beauty and is afraid that she is no longer able 
to turn the trick. With a little more time she might have been 



" Jackson, p. 54. 

23 Jackson, p. 39. 

oh 

^ Jackson, p. 34. 



42 



saved by Mitch. Her whole struggle is in fact an attempt to 
make time stand still for she wants to live in a time that 
has gone. The play is not only a struggle of two cultures but 
of two centuries with ways of life that are not compatible. 

Williams goes on to describe his form as "personal lyri- 
cism." It is as he describes it: 

The outcry of prisoner to prisoner from the cell 
in solitary where each is confined for the dura- 
tion of his life. ... It is a lonely idea, a lonely 
condition, so terrifying to think of that we usually 
don't. And so we talk to each other, write and wire 
each other, call each other short and long distance 
across land and sea, clasp hands with each other at 
meeting and parting, fight each other and even des- 
troy each other because of this always somewhat thwart- 
ed effort to break through walls to each other. As a 
character in a play once said, "We're all of us sen- 
tenced to solitary confinement inside our own skins." ^ 

This entire concept is a reality in A_ Streetcar Named De- 
sire . For the entire play is the outcry of one human being to 
another, the outcry of loneliness and need for love. Blanche 
comes to Stella for the help that 3he needs but is denied it. 
She then seek3 to find security in Mitch but is denied this 
because of her past. For Blanche's life has been a struggle 
to find love, companionship, and security for her way of life. 
She is in turn destroyed because of her inability to break 



2 5 Jackson, p. 29. 



43 



through these walls that confine her. 

Williams states on hi3 concepts of life and man's 

struggle, 

The great and only possible dignity of man 
lies in his power deliberately to choose cer- 
tain moral values by which to live as stead- 
fastly a3 if he, too, like a character in a 
play, were immured against the corrupting 
rush of time. Snatching the eternal out of 
the desperately fleeting is the great magic 
trick of human existence. As far as we know, 
as far as there exists any kind of empiric evid- 
ence, there is no way to bear the game of being 
against non-being in which non-being is the pre- 
destined victor on realistic levels. 

Blanche has chosen moral values by which to live and is 
destroyed in defense of these values. She in reality has not 
lived up to her values but spiritually to herself she has al- 
ways been true. In the play she says, "Never inside. I didn't 
lie in my heart. I was true as God in my heart to all of you— 
always— always. " 2 ^ In her world in her own way she never aban- 
doned these values. Even when time had passed them by and new 
ways had taken their place she struggled to save them and the 
world that they had created. 

Williams has created several myths in the development of 

26 Williams, The Rose Tattoo (New York, 1951), preface, p. viii« 
ix. 

2 7 Williams, Streetcar Named Desire (New York, 1953), P. 85 • 



44 



his dramatic works. A symbolic representation of the life 
of man in our times is the myth which ha3 served for the basis 
of many of his works. It is primarily the image of modern man 
caught between opposing logics — man in search of a means of 
reconciliation or salvation. This myth pictures man searching 
for a structure that will restore meaning to life and resolve 
the conflict of values that he finds in reality. 

In his development of dramatic form he restores the theatre 
as a place of magic as opposed to the realism in which he found 
it. For Williams the theatre becomes a place of ritual as it 
was in the time of the Greeks. Williams' theatre becomes one 
of sacrificial ritual in which many times the major character 
is offered up to the gods. Blanche becomes a sacrifice to the 
world of barbaric realism. Through his rite of the theatre 
he shows man's search for salvation. Through the myth of the 
twentieth-century American that he has created he attempts to 
relate many individually-oriented perceptions to the larger 
question of the destiny of civilization. In his attempt to 
picture the twentieth-century American, he sets his plays in 
various "regions of the South such as St. Louis, New Orleans, 
the Delta, Glorious Hill, Mississippi, and an assortment of 
Latin American towns. The setting, however, is not the im- 



^5 



portant thing, for the battle field is, in reality, the modern 

American mind. Beneath the personal accounts, which form the 

basis of his dramas, there is a critical struggle between way3 

of life. In A Streetcar Named Desire , he centers this struggle 

in the school teacher, Blanche, with her talk of poetry and 

art, and the laborer, Kowalski, with his life of animal Joys. 

Blanche describes her antagonist in these terms: 

Ke acts like an animal, ha3 an animal's habit3j 
Eats like one, moves like one, talks like one! 
There's even something — subhuman — something not 
quite to the stage of humanity yet* Yes, something 
ape-like about him, like one of those pictures 
I've seen in anthropological studiesi Thousands 
and thousands of years have passed him right by, 
and there he is— Stanley Kowal3ki — survivor 
of the stone agei Bearing the raw meat home 
from the kill in the jungle I . . . Maybe we are 
a long way from being made in God's image, but 
Stella — my sister — there has been some porgress 
since then J Such things as art as poetry and music- 
such kinds of new light have come into the world 
since then J In some kinds of people some tenderer 
feelings have had some little beginning 1 That we 
have got to make grow] and cling to, and hold as 
our flag] ■ In this dark march to whatever it is 
we're approaching . . . Don't — don't hang back 
with the brutes ** 

One of the most controversial aspects of the drama of 

Tennessee Williams is the anti-heroic protagonist as an image 

to. 

of man. Williams tends to reject the Aristotelian concept of 
2 ° Williams, Streetcar , p. 50-51. 



46 



the protagonist and to replace it v, r ith an anti-hero. The 
anti-hero is the personification of the humanity neither good, 
knowledgeable, nor courageous. In A_ Streetcar Name* m De3ire 
we find that Blanche is suffering because of her own trans- 
gressions. She is the personification of the anti-heroic 
image of man because of her lack of understanding that killed 
her young husband and her inability to maintain her values in 
the real world. This is the inner conflict— the conflict that 
comes to life in her struggle with Stanley. In A_ Streetcar 
Named Desire the playwright cautions the viewer against social 
regression, against the capitulation of humanity to the laws 
of the Jungle. Williams pictures man struggling to maintain 
his position on the edge of a razor blade. He depicts man in 
a state of barbarism or about to fall or be dragged into this 
pit. 

Williams sees in the human condition a constant threat of 
diminution. 

It is this continual rush of time, so violent that 
it appears to be screaming, that deprives our act- 
ual lives of so much dignity and meaning and it is 
perhaps, more than anything else, the arrest of 
time which has taken place in a completed work of 

art that gives to certain plays their feeling of 
depth and significance. 29 



2 9 Jackson, p. 29-30. 



^7 



In A Streetcar Named Desire Blanche is racing against time, 
for time has caused her beauty to fade, and her home, position, 
and dignity to be lost. As we find her, she is in a constant 
struggle with time to win Mitch and find security. Williams 
suggests that security is something unobtainable and that life 
is a struggle for security. This struggle is against time 
which will inevitably bring death. 

Williams conceives drama in very individualized terms. 
Each of his plays takes the shape of a vision proceeding from 
the consciousness of the protagonist. In The Glass Menagerie, 
the play represents the memory of the hero, while in A Street - 
car Named Desire the spectator observes the conflict as it 
appears in the mind of Blanche. Williams uses varied ration- 
ales to account for the angle of distortion in these visions. 
Kis interpretative devices— memory, insanity, intoxication, 
dreams and death are used by Williams to alienate the audience 
from the falseness of the stage so that they may share in a 
world of truth. In the prologue to The Glass Menagerie, the 
poet-figure explains to the audience: 

Yes, I have tricks in my pocket, I have things, up 
my "sleeve. But I am the opposite of a stage magi- 
cian. He gives you illusion that has the appearance 

of truth. I give you truth in the pleasant disguise 
of illusion. 3D 

30 Williams, The Glass Menagerie (New York, 19^5), P. 5. 



48 



Perhaps the most familiar formation within Williams' 
linguistic structure is one that may be described as his 
psychological myth. In the drama of V/illiams, the psychol- 
ogical myth attempts to determine how, not why, life occurs, 
Williams' psychological myth may be traced to many sources. 
David Sievers, in his study of Freud on Broadway, gives this 
explanation to Williams 1 use of sexual psychology in A_ Street- 
car Named Desire , "Williams arranges in compelling theatrical 
pattern the agonized sexual anxiety of a girl caught between 
id and ego-ideal."^ Mr. Sievers believes that this sexual 
anxiety is representative of many problems or conflicts within 
the character. In Blanche her sexual desire is used in a vain 
attempt to find security and relieve the loneliness and des- 
pair that fills her world. Williams follows Freud's concepts 
in establishing human personality in its animal origins. For 
both, sex is the symbol of being. As Blanche says, "The 
opposite of death is desire. "^ Sexual desire then for Williams 
is an expression of life and proof that death has not won out. 

In each of his plays Williams follows a general pattern 



31 Jacxson, p. 6l. 

^ 2 Williams, Streetcar, p. 86. 



49 



of image -making. Each of his plays represents an attempt to 
give exposition to poetic vision. Each of his play3 is composed 
of symbolic figures which become the- play's lyric components. 
In A Streetcar Named Desire, Williams creates symbols which have 
progressive insanity as their rational. The symbol of the 
polka music that was playing at the time of her young husband's 
death is a major symbolic instrument in the progression of 
Blanche's insanity. Williams uses insanity like intoxication 
and the dream as a kind of instrumentation for the organiza- 
tion and interpretation of experience. The Insanity mechanism 
has advantages over the device of memory , especially for works 
which have tragic implications, for it suggests extremity in 
human circumstances. The question of insanity in A_ Streetcar 
Named Desire is, in this sense, an extension of a problem 
affecting earlier plays. The development of this theme however 
comes to full bloom with the creation of Blanche. 

In her book The Broken World of Tennessee Williams, 
Esther Jackson writes that Williams sees man as the great 
sinner, the transgressor against moral lav/. Like St. Paul, 
Williams" views human existence as a condition necessarily 
marked by unavoidable transgression. Williams depicts man as 
a creature in need of salvation, in search of a power such as 



50 



human love. It is obvious then that much of Christian theo- 
logy* especially its progression of sin, suffering, guilt, 
punishment, and expiation appears throughout his works. 
Williams prescribes a theological resolution for human suf- 
fering. He superimposes on his dark cycle of suffering a 
transcendent progression of love, sympathy, contrition, sac- 
rifice, and understanding. Here we find the basis for the 
creation of Blanche. For all of the above conditions go to 
make up the intricate characteristics of this creation. 
This is but a brief account of the development and 
meaning of the writing of Tennessee Williams and will serve 
a3 a background for the study of A_ Streetcar Named Desire . 



51 



In discus sing the thematic material of A_ Streetcar Named 
Desire , one must discuss the character of Blanche DuBois, for 
she is the embodiment of the theme of the play. She is the 
personification of the thoughts and ideas of the playwright. 
To separate the character from the play destroys the play 
itself. As Blanche is the embodiment of the major theme of 
the play, so Stanley is necessary as the representation of 
that against which Blanche is struggling. Stella is that which 
they are both trying to control. 

The story of Blanche DuBois evolved slowly before it 
crystallized in A_ Streetcar Named Desire . Battle of Angels, 
You Touched Me, The Glass Menagerie , and Summer and Smoke all 
show traces of Blanche DuBois in their heroines. Her develop- 
ment can also be traced to two early one-act plays. The first, 
written in 1939* The Lady of Larkspur Lotion , tells the 3tory 
of a crumbling Southern ex -belle who vainly attempts to cling 
to respectability in a battered rooming house in New Orleans 
by fostering the illusion that she is awaiting dividends from 
her rubber plantation in Brazil. The second is titled Portrait 
of a Ma'donna and deals with an aged Southern spinster about to 
be taken from her rented room to an asylum. She has been 
suffering from the delusion that she is being raped by a young 
man that she had loved as a girl and lost because of her in- 



ability to communicate her feelings to him. On the day she 
is to he taken to the asylum, she announces that she is going 
to bear his child, and, as the play closes, she is led away 
by the doctor, who treats her with kindness and gallantry. The 
earliest reflection of Blanche in Williams 1 writing is in a 
scene called Blanche's Chair in the Moon . It is a sketch of a 
woman sitting in the darkness before an open window through 
which the .light of the moon streams in upon her. These works 
and characters all served as a basis for the creation of A. 
Streetcar Named Desire . 

L Streetcar Named Desire has a rather simple plot. The 
scene opens on the working class rent district in New Orleans 
where Blanche's younger sister, Stella, and her husband, Stanley, 
live. Blanche has just arrived by the Streetcar (Desire) and 
views the neighborhood with horror, in disbelief that her sis- 
ter can be living in so "sordid" an area. Blanche and Stella 
were brought up on a beautiful old Southern plantation, mort- 
gaged and decaying, but still diffusing the refined atmosphere 
of aristocracy. All that was beautiful in the society and way- 
of-life in the Old South is reflected in Blanche. She rejects 
all that is ugly in the world and creates for herself a world 
of what-ought-to-be. She at all times strives to protect and 
assert the self-image that she has created for herself. 



53 



Thi3 image of the Southern belle is that which brings her 
into conflict with Stanley. For Stanley is the type of person 
that controls the real world, which Blanche is unable to face. 
Blanche, delicate, sensitive, and artistic, offers nothing the 
Stanleys want in their world. The world of her choice is that 
of the tender and beautiful of the spirit and heart. 

Blanche's story, and sometimes the theme of the play, is 
described as a search for protection. In wishing to marry 

Mitch, she seeks a "cleft in the rock of the world that I could 

33 
hide In, and she also explains the beginning of her many 

affairs with men as a search for protection: . . . "After the 

death of Allan — intimacies was all I seemed able to fill my 

empty heart with ... I think it was panic, just panic, that 

n34 
drove me from one to another, hunting for some protection. ^ 

A^ Streetcar Named Desire describes a triangle, the apex 
of which is Stella (star). She is the sister of Blanche, an 
impoverished Southern -gentlewoman, and the wife of Stanley, a 
lusty barbarian of Polish immigrant descent. Stella has es- 
caped her past at Belle Reve and has found happiness and sat- 
isfaction in the sexually rooted love of Stanley. Her life 



33 Williams, Streetcar, p. 85. 
3^ Williams, treetcar, p. 85. 



54 



with Stanley is content until Blanche reenters the picture. 

Blanche enters, delicate as a moth and dressed in imma- 
culate white, looking as if she were going to a garden party. 
Blanche, frail and neurotic, had stayed on at Belle Reve after 
Stella's escape. Blanche, after watching the plantation slip 
through the fingers of her male ancestors, was forced to watch 
the tubercular deaths of her mother and her other sister. 

Although Blanche is the catalyst around whose visit the 
play revolves, Stella is the key figure. Her previously un- 
conscious choice of Stanley's sexuality is now put on trial. 
Stella desperately tries to shield Blanche from Stanley as she 
struggles to equate her love for Blanche and her former values. 

Stanley is picutred as the primitive hero, the epitome of 

the romantic admiration of the little man for the vigorous 

virility of a male hero, Stanley is the deification of sex, 

which Williams describes: 

Animal joy in his being is implicit in all his 
movements and attitudes. Since earliest man- 
hood, the center of his life has been pleasure 
with women, the giving and taking of it, not 
with weak indulgence, dependently, but with the 
power and pride of a richly feathered male bird 
among hen3. Branching out from this complete 
and satisfying center are all the auxiliary 
channels of his life, such as his heartiness 
with men, hi3 appreciation of rough humor, his 
love of good drink and food and games, hl3 car, 
hi3 radio, everything that is his, that bears 
his emblem of the gaudy seed -bearer. He sizes 



55 



up women at a glance with 3exual classifications, 
crude images flashing into his mind and deter- 
mining the way he smiles at them. 35 

Stanley Kowalski makes hi3 initial appearance in the play 
bearing a package of raw meat which he throws to hi3 wife who 
cries out a3 to what he has thrown at her. Immediately we are 
presented with the image of a crude, animalistic man. But if 
Kowalski is a brute, he is not a fool, and he possesses an 
animal shrewdness and vitality. 

Elia Kazan believes that the power of the play lies 
largely in its poignant theme, which Kazan expresses as "A 
message from the dark interior. This little twisted, pathetic, 
confused bit of light and culture puts out a cry. It is snuf- 
fed out by the crude forces of violence, and this cry is the 
play. "3° Williams is said to have summed up the theme with, 
"if we don't watch out, the apes will take over."-*' 

L Streetcar Named Desire pictures the Southern gentlewo- 
man a3 the last representative of a dying culture. She is en- 
gaged in a struggle which she is too delicate and refined to 

35 Falk, p. 82. 

3° Elia Kazan, Directors on Directing , ed. Toby Cole & Helen 
Krich Chivoy (New York, 19637, P« 364. 

37 Nancy M. Tischler, Tennessee Williams: Rebellious Puritan 
(New York, 1961), p. 137. 



56 



withstand. The crudeness and decay that surrounds her, as re- 
presented by Stanley Kowalski, drives her to madness as the only 
salvation for her way of life. 

Kazan says, "Thi3 play is a poetic tragedy. We are shown 
the final dissolution of a person of worth, who once had great 
potential, and who, even as she goes down, has worth exceeding 
that of the healthy, coarse-grained figures who kill her."3° 
Kazan sees the play as a conflict between two civilizations — 

"The dying aristocracy and the vital, modern, cynical demo- 
ns 

cracy. ->•* 

Blanche represents tradition and idealism, seeing herself 

as she would like to be, denying what she is, trying to appear 

special and different. Mr. Kazan 3ays, 

This image of herself cannot be accomplished in 
reality, certainly not in the South of our day 
and time, it is her effort and practice to acc- 
omplish it in fantasy. . . . The audience at the 
beginning should see her bad effect on Stella, 
want Stanley to tell her off. He does. He ex- 
poses her and then gradually, as they see how 
genuinely in pain, how actually desperate she is, 
how warm, tender and loving she can be (the Mitch 
story), how frightened with need she is — then they 
begin to go with her. They begin to realize that 
they are sitting in at the death of something ex- 
traordinary . . . colorful, varied, passionate, 
lost, witty, imaginative, of her own integrity 



33 



-; 



Kazan, p. 365 . 



39 Kazan, p. 365. 



57 



4o 
. . . and then they feel the tragedy. 

The clash between Blanche and Stanley 13 inevitable, for 
they represent conflicting views of life. The struggle ia 
really in the minds of the two and more so in the mind of 
Blanche in her struggle to maintain her position in the face 
of the over-powering odds of an animal world represented in 
Stanley. 

The first clash between Blanche and Stanley arises over 
the loss of the plantation which he dreamed of owning. He 
suspects that she has squandered the property. He then tears 
into her trunk, which contains the last material possessions of 
Blanche and Belle Reve. His lack of taste for quality is shown 
as he throws from the trunk showy pieces of clothing and cos- 
tume jewelry which he thinks are expensive. When he touches 
the love letters written by her dead husband, she shows her 
contempt for him and all he represents. She says that the 
touch of his hands contaminate them and that she will have to 
burn them. She also shows her sorrow and the effect that all 
of the things Stanley represents have had on her life when 
she tells of how she hurt her husband and protests that 
Stanley will not hurt her as she hurt him. Blanche goes on 

40 Kazan, p. 367. 



53 



to show the ever growing struggle of her way of life with that 
of Stanley's by stating that the plantation wa3 lo3t because 
of the "epic fornications" of her ancestors. Blanche's un- 
stableness is also shown in this scene as she flirts with 
Stanley but always returns to her warped delusion of herself. 
Stanley is also given a clue as to how to get revenge at this 
time. For though Stanley is somewhat barbaric and crude he 
is quite clever, especially when it comes to protecting hi3 
home and his way of life. 

The next major conflict comes in the third scene of act 
one. The scene opens with the famous poker party for which 
the play was orginally titled. The scene call3 for brilliant 
colors for the characters to represent coarse men at their physi< 
cal prime — men as powerful as primary colors. 

In her scenes with Mitch, Blanche reveals -more of her 
true self than at any other time. She admits to him of her 
sorrow and of her need to cover up ugly truth as she does 
symbolically by covering the naked light bulb. She is afraid 
of what the light of truth would reveal if it were left un- 
covered -to touch upon her. In this scene the audience see3 . 
the kind of world that Blanche wants and must have for sur- 
vival. Through the talk of poetry and art, the placing of 
the lantern over the lights, and the playing of music, she 



59 



creates a world in which she can survive. She states, "We 
have created an enchantment" and later in the play when Mitch 
confronts her with the truth about herself she says, "I don't 
want realism, I want magic. Ye 3, yes, magic I I try to give 
that to people. I do misrepresent things to them. I don't 
tell the truth, I tell what ought to be the truth. And if 
that's a sin, then let me be damned for it.*" 

Stanley breaks the enchantment that is created and heightens 
the conflict of the two worlds by destroying the radio that 
has helped to create the atmosphere that Blanche must have. 
Stanley finishes his show of animal force by striking out 
against Stella and then calling for her as a wolf does his 
mate. Stella has accepted this way of life and being perfect- 
ly contented with it, comes back to him. She finds complete 
fulfillment in their sexually oriented life. Blanche once 
again reveals herself to Mitch as in need by saying, "There's 
so much confusion in the world. Thank you for being so kind] 
I need kindness now."^ she also reveals her abhorrence of 
violence. 

The -following scene reveals that Stella is the treasure 

41 Williams, Streetcar, p. 84. 
^ 2 Williams, Streetcar, p. 43. 



60 



that is sought by both Blanche and Stanley, for they are both 
working to win her to their side. Blanche attempts to turn 
Stella against Stanley by describing him as an ape, survivor 
of the stone age. Stanley, however, overhears these comments 
and is more than ever determined to rid himself and his home 
of the plague with which Blanche has infested their lives, 
Stanley begins his revenge as he questions Blanche about a man 
named Shaw and the hotel Flamingo and the town of Laurel. 
Stanley strikes home a3 is revealed by Blanche in later scenes. 
Blanche attempts to reveal her plight to Stella but she veils 
it all in half-truths. Her sentimentally expressed lines anti- 
cipate the lurid confession which comes later. She explains 
that soft people have to seek the favor of hard ones, have to 
play a seductive role, be soft, resort to magic to pay for a 
night's lodging. She explains that she has been running from 
one shelter to another trying to escape the storm, that she 
has depended on men's lovemaking to give her a sencc of exist- 
ence. To Stella, whose approach to sex is frank and simple, 
ti.is talk is only morbid. 

n nche, realizing that she can not win over Stella, turn3 
to Mitch as her only hope of salvation. She sees in him an 
opportunity. She cays, "I want to rest'.' I want to breathe 



61 



quietly again. 1 Yes — I want Mitch. I want him very badly J 
Just thinkj If it happens] I can leave here and not be any- 
one's problem. . . ."^3 Blanche who flirted so indecently 
with Stanley, who exhibited herself before the poker players , 
who called a strange young man collecting for papers a young 
Arabian prince and kissed him softly on the mouth, play3 as 
prim and coy with Mitch as if she were sixteen and pure. At 
the same time, this Southern gentlewoman sets the scene a3 if 
for a seduction, indicating perhaps that she is slightly con- 
fused. And then, a remark from Mitch about loneliness brings 
her confession about her early marriage and the tragic episode 
in which she discovers he is a homosexual and he kills himself. 
This confession which Blanche makes to Mitch reveals the major 
theme of the play, that of loneliness and the search for some- 
thing to fill her empty heart. She also reveals that Allan 
shot himself because she expressed her disgust for him. We 
see that she feels responsible for this. Even in her early 
years she was in conflict with truth. It had proved to be more 
than 3he could bear when the head of the ugly world of truth 
itself had invaded her world of art and beauty, trying to des- 
troy a way of life that she had created for herself. Mitch, 

lonely and seeking love, asks, "You need somebody. And I need 



62 



somebody, too. Could it be you and me Blanche ?"^ when at 
last she seems to have found a resting place, someone that she 
can cling to, Stanley re-enters the picture with greater deter- 
mination than ever to destroy her. Stanley has discovered the 
truth of Blanche's past and hastily repeats the information to 
Mitch and Stella, destroying Blanche's last hope for survival 
in the world of reality. Stanley has also bought a bus ticket 
back to Laurel, which in reality is death itself for she can 
not return there. She then moves deeper into her dream world 
in order to save and protect herself. 

Mitch appears to confront her with all the accusations of 
which he has learned and demands to see her in the light of 
truth and reality. Still hoping to win Mitch she confesses all 
to him. She tells the hideous story of her degradation, her 
intimacies with strangers after her husband's death, the affair 
with the seventeen-year-old boy, and her dismissal from her 
teaching job. She needs Mitch, she says, as a refuge from the 
world. She tells him of the endless acquaintances she has had 
with the dying. She confesses another episode from her past, 
that of ..the army camp and her many gentlemen callers from the 
camp. Mitch is, however, tied to his mother and his one op- 



^ Williams, Streetcar, p. 68, 



>3 



portunity for sexual happiness Is destroyed by the fact that 
Blanche, as he puts it, is not clean enough to bring into the 
house with his mother. Once Blanche has confessed her real 
background, he decides to take what he has been missing all 
summer. She, however, drives him from the house by yelling 
fire. The scene is loaded with symbolic elements. A Mexican 
woman Is peddling tin flowers, the kind displayed at funerals, 
and calling in Spanish that she is selling flowers for the 
dead. It is against the background of the old woman's cries 
that Blanche insists that she never lied in her heart. Her 
legacy has been death, all the hideous dying that she faced 
alone as Belle Reve slipped from her hands. The opposite of 
death, as stated by Blanche herself, is desire. 

Stanley returns from the hospital to find Blanche dressed 
in fine feathers and with a new story as to what her future 
plans are. She has now received a wire from her one-time 
sweetheart. She plays the role of the aristocrat, the woman 
of refinement and beautiful spirit and refers to Mitch and 
Stanley as swine. Stanley, angered by her superior attitude, 
attacks -her, calling her a liar and challenging her to face 
the facts, to look at herself in a rag-picker's outfit, and 
to recall that she may think herself as a queen but she has 
been swilling down hl3 liquor. The speech gives an interesting 



64 



contrast between the blunt realist, who see3 the powder and 
perfume and the paper lanterns over the light bulb for what 
they are, and the romantic dreamer, who lives in her imagin- 
ation . 

The scene moves to a fever pitch and becomes the most 
exciting and terrifying scene in the entire play. Blanche 
becomes the trapped animal with nowhere to go— no place to 
hide. The frantic phone calls are used to show her hysterical 
state of mind and desperation in her position. Stanley re- 
enters the scene in the pajamas he wore on his wedding night. 
As Blanche tries for one last attempt at escape she grabs a 
bottle and breaks it to protect herself. The pitch of the 
scene increases as Stanley moves in and the music of the jazz 
piano begins. Stanley forces her to drop the bottle and with 
these dramatic words "Drop that bottle top; Drop it] We've 
had this date with each other from the beginning. 1 "^5 he carries 
her to the bed. Blanche suffers her final degradation and is 
forced completely into her imaginative world. This act of in- 
juctice is the breaking point and the death of her attempt to 
survive. in a world of brutal reality. 

In the final scene which occurs weeks later, Blanche now 



45 



Williams, Streetcar, p. 94. 



65 



obviously deranged dresses to leave as If she were going to 
dinner with Shep Huntleigh. She recognizes that the doctor 
is not the man 3he was expecting and goes into a fit of panic. 
The doctor with his kindness is able to soothe her and as she 
leaves clinging to his arm she says, "Whoever you are I have 
always depended on the kindness of strangers. ° Broken by 
her experience in the real world, she escapes completely into 
her own world and she does so like an aristocrat. 



k6 

Williams, Streetcar, p. 102-103. 






INTERPRETATION AND CHARACTER MATERIAL 
In this thesis production of A_ Streetcar Named Dec ire by 
Tennessee Williams the theme of clas3 conflict was to he the 
major theme of the production. This theme of clash of two 
social classes became the pivotal point around which the entire 
production would revolve. The intention of the director then 
was to structure the acting and development of each scene so 
as to stress this central theme. The clear development of the 
major theme could be achieved only if the minor themes that are 
prevalent within the play were properly pointed up to create 
that theme. These minor themes are found within the character 
of Blanche and are brought to the forefront by her struggle 
with Stanley. 

The minor theme of loneliness is shown to its greatest 
extent in the relationship of Blanche and Mitch. Both are in- 
dividuals desperately attempting to achieve some kind of mean- 
ingful human communication and contact, but because of their 
respective characters and the situation in which they find 
themselves, are unable to succeed. Blanche's search for love 
and security is what has led her into the life that fills her 
past. This search for security has been for protection of a 
way of life that is being crushed by the world. Blanche sees 



67 



herself as something special and her way of life as superior 
to that of the rest of society; however, this can not be main- 
tained without protection and security supplied by someone 
else. Kazan states that this is what makes the play universal. 

Blanche's special relation to all women is that 
she is at that critical point where the one thing 
above all else that she is dependent on: her 
attraction for men, is beginning to go. Blanche 
is like all women, dependent on a man looking for 
one to hang onto: only more so. '• 

Blanche's affairs with many men have been an attempt, as she 

states, to fill her empty heart. 

This has been Blanche's search since the death of her 
young husband. This one concept is that which has brought her 
to the situation in which she now finds herself. For she has 
now reached the end of the line by coming to her sister's home 
as a last hope of refuge. 

More than any other aspect in the character of Blanche, 
loneliness is the one that causes her to suffer the countless 
attacks that under any other circumstances she would never 
have endured. This aspect within the character and play pro- 
vides the motivation that must exist as the reason that keeps 
her from fleeing.. Without this the production would pose many 
problems, for the audience would question her motivation for 

^7 Elia Kazan, Directors on Directing (Now York, 1963), p. 370. 



68 



being here and for staying. This element mu3t then be brought 

immediately to light so that there will be no questions about 

her remaining. This was done by stressing in Act I the build 

up and emphasis of Blanche's speech: 

... I guess you're hoping I'll say I'll put up 
at a hotel, but I'm not going to put up at a 
hotel. I want to be near you, Stella: I've got 
to be with people, I can't be alone J Because-- 
as you must have noticed — I'm not very well! 4 " 

In the speech that follows concerning her battle with the death 

that surrounded her, she also reveals her state of loneliness, 

for no condition could contain greater aloneness than that in 

which one is surrounded only by death. In this speech as well 

Blanche seems to suggest that Stella owes her help for all that 

suffering that she had to face alone, while Stella found love 

and security in her Polack. 

Mitch's loneliness, like Blanche's, began with the loss 
of someone he loved. He attempts to find fullfillment in re- 
maining with his mother, but this is not enough. In Blanche he 
finds his one hope of salvation as she finds the same in him. 
This search for love and the security that it alone can bring 
gives vivid expression to the theme of loneliness. 

A second and very significant minor theme is that of 

^ 8 Williams, Streetcar, p. 13-14. 



69 



sexual conflict. Thi3 theme is pointed up primarily in the 
struggle between the romanticised version of sex and love as 
viewed by Blanche and that of the animalistic and overpowering 
position that it plays in the lives of Stanley and Stella. This 
theme more than any of the others points to the major theme of 
class conflict., for the role of sex in the life of man is a 
major area of conflict in the struggle of the two cultures. 
This conflict of sexual concepts is also brought to light in the 
very struggle that exists within Blanche herself. Blanche will 
not face her physical or sensual side. She thinks of sex and 
calls it "brutal desire." Although she gives in to this as- 
pect of her make up in her attempt to escape loneliness, she 
can not relegate herself to this type of existence , and for 
her it is a sin. She, however, is able to separate the sins 
that she commits from her refined and cultured self. The pic- 
ture that she holds of herself as the lady on a pedestal is 
never damaged by the moments of brutal desire. As she states, 
she has always been true to herself in her heart. She has 
never done anything which would in any way discolor her image 
of herself as a pure and virginal lady. This conflict within 
the personality of Blanche is given expression several times 
throughout the play— the undressing in the doorway so that she 
can be observed by the men at the poker party, the flirting 



70 



with Stanley., the use of French as she ask3 Mitch to come to 
bed with her, and more than any other time, the incident with 
the news boy. In this particular scene she shows for the first 
time completely the real strength of her sexual desire a3 she 
attempts to subdue the young man. She states that she must be 
good and keep her hands off children. The contrast is most 
strongly shown as the scene moves from this revelation of sexual 
need to the entrance of Mitch and her demand that he be a gal- 
land cavalier and bow to her before he presents the bouquet of 
flowers. The contrast is further revealed in the physical at- 
tributes of the young paper boy and that of the older and much 
less physically attractive Mitch. The selection of a newsboy 
who creates in the minds of the audience a figure that could be 
a prince out of the Arabian knights as Blanche calls him helps 
to enhance this contrast. The sexual conflict is further given 
emphasis by the inadequacies of the young poet husband. Blanche 
was not able to satisfy his need or he hers. The death of the 
young man was in some respect the result of this inability to 
fullfill the need3 of each other or at least to keep their re- 
lationship on a level that could survive in the romanticized 
poetic world of which Blanche dreamed. This struggle for 
sexual freedom which dominates the entire play is a major fac- 



71 



tor in the development of the major theme of class struggle $ 
for this freedom is a factor which dominates the new society 
and is a major pillar on which it rests. Whereas the limited 
sexuality is the central petal of the rosy society of which 
Blanche is the lone survivor. The question is posed: Will 
this be a world dominated by a society in which sex satis- 
faction is the dominant factor or one that is dominated by 
beauty and culture? 

The secondary theme which must be dealt with in the light 
of the major theme of class conflict is that of illusion and 
reality. Blanche is the personification of an illusionary 
world which she has created — not just a world of the past but 
a past as she chooses to remember it. Even the story of her 
husband's death is distorted to create for her a special world 
to show that she is better than that which surrounds her. This 
illusionary world is constantly tinged with reality although 
she is not able to face the reality of her own promiscuity, 
alcoholism,, and sins that she has committed. Thus, she creates 
a fantasy world for herself. Whenever Blanche is faced with 
reality that - she will not accept, she retreats into her dream 
world. In the scenes with both Stanley and Mitch whenever a 
subject which she can not face is suggested, she simply with- 



72 



draws into her own world. 

Stanley is the representative of reality, and as the play 
developes he i3 the figure that forces Blanche to face reality, 
and in doing so he cause 3 her complete retreat into her world 
of fantasy. In her world Blanche finds seclusion from death, 
violence, sex, I033 of Belle Reve, and the abuses of the world. 
Stanley represents a world of sex, drink, poker games — all that 
suggests crudeness and barbarism. Stanley destroys her ability 
to maintain her world of fantasy in the midst of reality by 
questioning her about her marriage and the loss of Belle Reve. 
He further destroys her one chance for survival by revealing 
her sordid past to Mitch. His final act of sexual degradation 
is the crushing blow that completes her retreat into a world 
of fantasy within her mind. 

The production was directed with the intention of portray- 
ing a conflict within the actual presentation itself. Pre- 
cisely, a style of fantasy and extreme reality was the in- 
tention of the director by creating within some scenes a 
reality of life to point of stark realism, whereas in the 
scenes of fantasy creating a fairy-tale mood of illusion. 
This was attempted by using, within the scenes of reality with 
Stanley, every aspect of the crude world that he represents to 



73 



the extreme. For example, in the card scene an illusion of 
reality that gave to the play almost unbearable crudene33 wa3 
accomplished by the use of vulgar and gutteral language and 
actions on the part of the card players. The scene is further 
stressed by the use of almost animal movements and physical 
positions of the four men* In contrast all that which is 
beautiful and of worth in the character of Blanche and that 
which she represents is shown. The stress within the scenes 
was structured in such a way as to create hopefully a distaste 
for the world of reality as represented by Stanley with the 
brutality of his destruction of all that is good within 
Blanche, yet picture for the audienco the right in Stanley's 
fight to save himself and his home. 

The play itself is structured and was directed in such a 
way as to create an atmosphere of dislike for Blanche at the 
beginning and an attitude of mutual companionship with all that 
Stanley represents. This was accomplished by making Blanche 
appear a domineering, cold, affected, overdressed, superior, 
excessive-drinking individual that would immediately alienate 
the audience and cause them to favor Stanley. This atmosphere 
was created by exaggeration of the many weaknesses found within 
the character of Blanche-. The over use of heavy smoking and 
drinking was given even further emphasis by the use of an ex- 



7^ 



tended period of time in the beginning of the play. Blanche 
was al3o directed to overplay all her dominant scenes, such as 
the many scenes when she treats Stella as a slave and those in 
which she attacks her. Her extreme nervous state was given 
added stress In the opening of the play with her rebuking of 
Eunice who had only attempted to make her feel welcome in the 
rather strange surroundings. The characteristic of superior- 
ity that is a dominant factor in Blanche was stressed in her 
reactions to the crude surroundings in which she finds her- 
self. As the play progresses the desire was to have the aud- 
ience sway from the feeling of dislike and distrust of Blanche 
to one of sympathy and hope that she would find a place of re- 
fuge. This was attempted by giving the greatest amount of 
sincerity to the scenes in which she reveals the tragedies of 
her past. The audience must see the beauty and refinement in 
her dream world and desire along with her a world of such 
beauty. In the entire play Blanche must be the center of each 
scene and the audience must follow her every action and with 
the proper development she should be able to draw them to her 
so that they experience the destruction of a noble character 
of great worth. 

This play above all in the director's opinion is a mood 
play. An atmosphere of a low, earthy, brassy, crude and over- 



75 



Indulgent environment mu3t be created from the very opening. 
By the U3e of loud voices and colors, extreme action, and 
bright lights this mood was portrayed to create a contrast v. r ith 
the entrance of Blanche. The intent was to so contrast the 
bright setting and opening atmosphere with that soft delicacy 
of Blanche so that upon her entrance she would be the object of 
all attention. She has been suggested as a moth, a butterfly, 
and this was the desired effect of this production. She says 
of herself "... Soft people, soft people have got to shimmer 
and glow. They've got to put on soft. colors, the colors of 
butterfly wings and put a paper lantern over the light . . . ° 
This was not only a major factor in the development of the char- 
acter of Blanche but in the costuming of this character. The 
use of soft -flowing pastel garments aided in the creation once 
again of an atmosphere of softness and delicacy and a character 
out of the Southern plantation tradition. This was used once 
again to give an. extreme contrast between Blanche and Stanley. 
Ke and his group were then costumed in strong dark colors to 
create a bright, crude and flashy picture. Stanley has been 
described as the gaudy seed bearer, and gaudy was the intent 
of characterization and costuming. The peacock strutting be- 



^9 Williams, Streetcar, p. 56. 



76 



fore his mate in a display of all that should interest her 
formed the basis for the development of the character of 
Stanley. Since he is the center of his world, all that exists 
revolves around him. His wife, his job, his friends — all exist 
for his pleasure and manipulation,, thus when this role is 
challenged by Blanche, all should be aware that he will fight 
to the death to maintain his position. For him the destruc- 
tion of another human being who challenges him is a necessity 
in a way of life that is real and right. 

Stanley is one of the new breed; even his name, Kowalski, 
suggests a roughness and crudeness. In this production every 
attempt was made to create a personality that rebukes all that 
is cultivated, all that seems to represent the advancement of 
man from the cave years. The prominence of not only crude 
language but crude actions was the basic criterion for the dev- 
elopment of the character along with equiping him with a walk 
and mode of action that showed a pride in himself and lack of 
any physical gesture or pose that would in any way demonstrate 
refinement. The constant use of the dangling cigarettes, 
the pose, with feet on chairs and table, the constant removal 
of all unnecessary clothing to reveal as much of the cave man 
body as possible, and the constant use of a loud and commanding 



77 



voice emits the Image of this new breed. These characteristics 
were once again stressed for the effect of contrast between the 
two characters as well as the contrast between the two ways of 
life. 

Within the play there are even for Stanley moments of ten- 
derness. The most outstanding scene is in act one toward the 
end of scene three where he demands that Stella return to him. 
His embrace, kneeling, the softness of his voice, the tenderness 
of the caress and the carrying of her to the bed create for him 
an aspect of tenderness that has not been revealed before. 
There are several instances in which he shows a tenderness and 
love for Stella that creates a feeling of sympathy for him. 
Even this crude and barbarous being has within himself a bit 
of softness. These scenes were enriched by not only tender and 
loving words but through the use of physical actions and posi- 
tions on the part of Stanley and Stella which furthered the 
desired mood. These actions were, however, always undergirded 
with the end result of sexual activity. Although this is the 
basis for all that Stanley and Stella seem to share, it is 
in contrast with the lack of emotional security that is found 
in Blanche. Stella and Stanley have found security and satis- 
faction in their relationship no matter how base it may be. 
Blanche's reaction to this situation— one of apparent disbelief 
and fear for Stella— is based on the fact that she has not been 



73 



able to lower her standards and accept this type of situation a3 
a way of life for herself. She needs to rest, to settle down, 
but even in her last hope, Mitch, she will not U3e sexual 
activity to capture him and thereby save herself from ultimate 
destruction. All of this is used to point up the frantic sit- 
uation in which Blanche finds herself and to show that she can 
not Ions survive in this environment. 

In the presentation and direction of the play the inten- 
tion was to reveal to the audience the facade that Blanche has 
created for herself. This was attempted by creating for Blanche 
a two-faced character. In the presence of Stella the Southern 
accent, genteel manners, and affected ways of the Southern belle 
were there only to convince Stella that she wa3 the same pure 
and refined lady of the South. But in her scenes with Mitch, we 
worked to intensify her refinement, Southern speech, affected 
mannerism, and all genteel qualities. With him she was back 
on the plantation being courted by her gallant Southern gentle- 
man. In the scenes with Stanley, because of fright, she often 
times became more earthy than at any other time. In her struggle 
with him, she reveals bits of her past experience simply through 
her actions. She understood Stanley better than Stella and how 
to get what she wanted from him. Rather than lose her place 
of refuge she would flirt with him and tempt him and speak and 



79 



act on his level If need be. 

In the development of the character of Stella the object 
once again was to create a contrast with that of the character 
of Blanche, to show that although they had been raised under 
the same circumstances Stella has been able to free herself 
from the old world and find happiness in a world that demands 
little from her. She has found in the sexually-oriented world 
of her husband a satisfaction and tranquility in "which she can 
survive. She must,, however, be a character in which a struggle 
can be created as she becomes the goal of attention for both 
Stanley and Blanche. Although the attempt was to make Stella 
tranquil and slow in comparison to Blanche, it was also desired 
that we be able to see the inner conflict and struggle as she 
is torn between Stanley and Blanche. This struggle is shown 
within Stella by development of movement and action that showed 
some indecision on her part whenever a choice between the 
forces was demanded; however, the choice must always be that 
which Stanley represents if Stella is to save herself from the 
position in which Blanche now finds herself. Stella also re- 
presents a possibility of survival for Blanche. If she can just 
compromise with forces of Stanley's world, she might be saved. 
This glimmer of hope, however, is very small and the refusal 
of Stella to allow Blanche to 3hift for herself dooms this pos- 



80 



sibility. This concept vra.3 developed and shown through the 
constant survile position that Stella takes to Blanche. She 
waits on her every whim and thereby maintains Blanche's posi- 
tion as a lady that will never be able to accept a lower 
station. Stella's character was constructed around these 
major ideas and implemented by the use of a slow and somewhat 
hesitant manner. Her costumes were selected so as to picture 
a woman who had little concern about her appearance and was 
not concerned with show but only with the attention of her 
husband. She was meant to show that she had found contentment 
in her expression of physical love for Stanley and her complete 
dependence upon him for life itself. 

Harold Mitchell is most important in the play as the last 
hope for the salvation of Blanche. They are much alike in 
many ways, for they both lack the love and security that each 
of them needs. They are lonely beyond measure and it seems 
that in each other they can find the fullfillment of their 
need. Mitch as directed was to be a contrast with Stanley. 
He was to be soft and tender with respect for the finer things 
in life... Life with mother had created in him a compassion for 
others and an insight into personality that Stanley lacked. 
He could see the need that Blanche possessed and sympathize 



81 



with her, for his need was as great as her own. The intention 
was that Mitch also should be slow moving in speech and action, 
be a ready receiver for the romanticized version of Blanche's 
past and a willing actor in the romantic life that she creates 
Mitch, like Stella, must also show an inner conflict as he 
battles between the stories that he has learned from Stanley and 
his desire to have Blanche. This inner struggle must carry over 
into the scene in which he denounces her, but in which he hopes 
above all else that she will be able to convince him of her 
purity so that he can bring her into the house with his mother. 
She confesses all to him, but really in a sense this is not what 
he wants, for it she is all that he has learned he can never 
possess her in marriage. In this character as in all within the 
play the object of contrast is of great importance. The struggle 
that possesses Mitch is not dead even in the last scene of the 
play, for he attacks Stanley as the representative of the forces 
that have caused the death of Blanche. But Mitch can only live 
by the way of life in which he has been conceived. 

The entire play was directed and produced around the 
creation of a mood of contrast and conflict, to present a pic- 
ture of a wandering soul of beauty in a last desperate 
struggle to save itself from being crushed by all that is 



82 



crude and meaningless in the world. 



EXPLANATION 02 PLATE III 



PRODUCTION 
SET 



EXPLANATION OP PLATE IV 
Eunice, Woman » and Blanch.0 



EXPLANATION OF PLATE V 
Pablo, Mitch, Stanley and Steve 






88 




EXPLANATION OP PLATE VI 
Stanley and Stella 



EXPLANATION 0? PLATE VII 
Blanche and Collector 






-92 




EXPLANATION OP PLATS VIII 
Stanley and Stella 



EXPLANATION OP PLATE IX 
Stanley and ULanche 



97 



SETTING 
Description 

The setting for A_ Streetcar Named Desire was a challenge 
to construct within the confines of the Purple Masque Theatre. 
Although the theatre posed a few problems we developed a set 
which met our needs in almost every way. The squalid dwelling 
of the Kowalskis must be far mere than squalid, however, should 
only be suggestive and not use extreme realism. It, like the 
play itself, should create an illusion. It should, however, 
contribute greatly to the mood of the presentation. 

The original set that is called for requires a scrim 
back wall and a spiral stair case leading to the Hubbells. 
These two accessories were impossible in our theatre and were 
eliminated. This, however, did not in any way cause the pre- 
sentation to suffer. In place of the spiral stair case a small 
level of three steps was devised which led to the entrance of 
the Kubbell apartment which was positioned directly behind that 
of the Kowalski3. These few steps gave levels for the actors 
to work from and created a feeling of separation of the two 
dwellings. 

The stage was then divided into three areas consisting 
of a porch or landing area directly in front of the door to 



93 



the Hubboll apartment and leading to the Kowalski apartment. 
Following the idea of suggestion in setting only a door po3t 
with a door bell was used to give the illusion of an entrance 
to the Kowalski kitchen. 

The second area was the Kowalski kitchen which contained 
several pieces of furniture. The center of the room contained 
a small table and three chairs. There were also a kitchen sink 
and wooden icebox in the stage left corner of the room. In 
the stage right corner of the room was a folded roll -away bed 
on which Blanche was to sleep. 

The third area, which is the bedroom, is divided from the 
rest of the set by a raised level. The room contained an iron 
bed along the upstage wall and at the stage right end of this 
bed was the entrance to the bathroom. This entrance and the 
room itself played a very important role in the play. For it 
was in this room in her many baths that Blanche finds seclusion 
and symbolically through her baths cleansed her soul and body. 
The room also became a point of controversy for Stanley and 
Blanche as she seemed to have it occupied whenever he desired 
its use. The bedroom contained also a small chest in the up- 
stage right corner and in the down stage corner a small dressing 
table. When the actor used the dressing table, he was in a pos- 
ition of full front to the audience. With only the suggestion 



u 



-J 



of a mirror frame we carried through the Idea of suggestion 
and not reality. The down stage left corner of the room cont- 
ained a small arm chair and stand with a telephone on it. 

In the construction and design of the set there needed 
to be a light in the bedroom. This light became a focal 
point for a great deal of action and had significant symbolic 
meaning. This was the light which Blanche covered with a paper 
lantern and in this way shut out all light that would reveal 
what was real. The setting called for a lamp fixture that ex- 
tended from the wall. This wa3 not possible , so I devised the 
use of an exposed light bulb hung from the ceiling. This 
light then was in the center of the room and was easily 
accessible for use and became a more prominent symbol of the 
world created by Blanche. 

The use of a portion of an oval window to indicate the 
separation of the bedroom and kitchen and to hang the drapery 
that separates the two rooms once again helped to create an 
illusion of reality. The entire set was designed and construct- 
ed to create an atmosphere of the slum environment of New 
Orleans. The absence of a great deal of open area helped to 
give the feeling of confinement that Blanche must feel through- 
out the play. 



100 



Color 
The color for the two rooms was selected to give warmth 
and to create a feeling of age. The kitchen was painted in a 
light green and then aged with shading and streaking to give 
a run down appearance. The bedroom was painted in a grey blue 
with a subdued pattern in grey to give the faded appearance of 
wall paper. The outer area was painted to give a suggestion of 
brick exterior. 



EXPLANATION OP PLATE X 
Floor Plan 



102 



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103 

PROPERTY LIST 

Act I - Scene 1 

Package of meat 

Small suitcase 

Broom 

Small photo of Stanley In frame 

Bag of peanuts 

T-shirt 

Small bottle of cologne 

Apple in dish 

Gloves, hat, purse for Blanche 

Bottle of whiskey and glass 

Bottle of soda water 

Bottle of coke 

2 movie magazines 

Handkerchief for Blanche 

Act I - Scene 2 
Trunk with various articles of gaudy wardrobe for Blanche, 

dresses, silks and fur pieces, etc. 
Jewel box full of costume jewelry 
Tiara 
Atomizer 

Hat, gloves, bag for Blanche 
Powder puff 
Cigarettes in package 
Matches 

Old letter in envelopes tied with ribbon 
Several legal papers in envelope 
Foot locker 
2 lunch pails 
Newspaper 
Basket (for Woman) 
Plate with ham and liverwurst 
Paper money— two or three bills 
2 man ilia envelopes 
Tin deed box 
A cartorTwith coke in it 
Case of beer 

Act I - Scene 3 

Cigarettes and matches 



104 



2 decks of playing cards 

2 whiskey bottles with some whiskey in them 
Coin3 and bills 

Hand towel 

Bathrobe 

Slippers 

Sen -sen in small envelope 

Matches 

Beer bottles and some empty bottles and some with beer in them 

Empty beer cases 

Watch for Mitch 

Paper bag with paper lantern in it 

Face powder and puff in case for Blanche 

Nightgown 

Cigarette holder 

Cigarette case with cigarettes 

Cigarette trays 

Act I - Scene 4 

Broom 

Eyebrow pencil 

Powder box 

Bottle of beer 

Kleenex 

Paper money and coin 3 in purse 

Act II - Scene 1 
Letter paper , pen, ink 
Socks 

Sewing materials and sewing box 
Package of laundry 
Necktie 

Bottle of whiskey and glass 
Palm leaf fan 
Cigarette and holder 
Wrist watch 
Small bunch of flowers 

3 slips 

Small notebook 
Bottle of cologne 

Bottle of coke with opener and glass 
Lady's purse 



105 



Cigarette lighter 
Gossamer scarf 

Act II - Scene 2 

Flowers 

Lady's purse 

Doll 

Candle stuck in bottle 

Trunk key 

Bottle of whiskey and 2 glasses 

Kleenex 

Act III - Scene 1 

Pillows 

Pans 

Slipcovers 

Whiskey in glass with ice cubes 

Bath towel 

Bus ticket 

Dishes and silver for four 

Party favors, including colored napkins 

Birthday cake 

Lunch pail 

Small box of pink birthday cake candles 

Hairbrush 

Act III - Scene 2 

2 pork chops 

Envelope with bus ticket 

Act III - Scene 3 

Drinking glass 

Bottle of Southern Comfort 

Act III - Scene 4 

Whiskey bottle and glass 

Paper box in which are bottles of beer and whiskey, bottle 
opener and pretzel sticks 



106 



Pair of red silk pajamas 

Miscellaneous finery for Blanche's trunk, also Jewel box 

Rhinestone tiara 

Act III - Scene 5 

Slips and other articles of clothing for Blanche 

Jewel box 

Ribbons 

Hair brush 

Small black bag 

Silver toilet articles 

Dish with grapes and other fruit 

Domino costume 

Woman's jacket 

Suitcase 



107 

LIGHTING 
Description 

The lighting for this production was of major concern 
for the intention to set a mood could be achieved with 
lighting as with nothing else. The U3e of bright and in- 
tense lighting in the loud and glaring group scenes was meant 
to create an atmosphere of brilliance and glaring color. 
Bright lighting for a mood of brilliance was desired at 
particular times as a contrast with the very subdued lighting 
of others. In many of Blanche's scenes she talks of leaving 
the lights off, and at these times especially, as little il- 
lumination was used as necessary to make the faces of the 
actors and their expressions visible. The use of a candle in 
the one Mitch and Blanche scene provided an opportunity for 
greater light for this very moving scene. The lighting of the 
poker party scenes. was created by a strong spot light on the 
table and players while the rest of the stage remained in very 
dim light. This was done once again to create a feeling of 
brilliance and gaudiness. 

The three areas of the stage were set up so that each 
area could be lighted individually. This was used many times 
in order to provide emphasis on the area being used and not 
Just have general lighting over the entire stage. 



108 

Special spot lights were also used in the last dream 
sequence of Blanche to give the idea that she ha3 slipped 
even further into her dream world and she i3 almost to the 
point of no return. Special spot lighting was also used in 
the porch area for several duo scenes. 

For the most part the lighting helped greatly to achieve 
a feeling of brilliance and gaudlness and provided the ex- 
treme contrast with the softness and mystery of the very sub- 
dued scenes. This contrast was desired to create an atmos- 
phere of conflicting extremes in the setting of the play to 
further emphasize the struggle of extremes as found in the 
characters of Blanche and Stanley. 



109 
Lighting Cue Sheet 



1. House lights fade out. 

2. Stage lights up full. 

3. Lights fade out quickly. 

4. House lights up dim. 

5. House lights fade out. 

6. Stage lights up full. 

7. Lights fade out. 

8. House lights up dim. 

9. House lights out. 

10. Special table spot up. 

11. Porch special up. 

12. Complete stage lights up dim. 

13. Bedroom area lights up bright. 

14. Complete stage lights dim. 

15. Stage lights out. 

16. House lights up dim. 

17. House lights out. 

18. Pull stage lights up. 

19. Stage lights out. 

20. House light 3 up full. 

21. House lights out. 



no 



22. Stage lights up full. 

23. Stage lights dov/n medium. 

24. Stage lights out. 

25. House lights up dim. 

26. House lights out. 

27. Porch special up dim. 

28. Complete stage up dim. 

29. Bedroom up medium. 

30. Stage lights out. 

31. House lights up full. 

32. House lights out. 

33. Stage lights up full. 

34. Stage lights out. 

35. House lights up dim. 

36. House lights out. 

37. Stage lights up medium. 

38. Stage lights out. 

39. House lights up dim. 

40. House lights out. 

41. Stage lights up dim. 

42. Bedroom area up medium. 

43. Porch area up medium* 

44. Stage lights out. 



Ill 



45. House lights up dim. 

46. House light 3 out. 

4-7. Special Blanche spot up. 

48. Special fade out and fade in complete stage lights dim. 

49. Complete 3tage lights up medium, 

50. Kitchen and porch area fade out. 

51. Stage lights out. 

52. House lights up dim. 

53. House lights out. 

54. Stage lights up full. 

55. Stage lights fade out. 

56. House lights up full. 



112 



Lighting Instruments 



Area 




Kind 


# 


Watts 


Gel 


Area 


1 


6" 


Leko 


101 


750 


NCP (no color pi 






6" 


Fresnel 


102 


500 


Blue 






6" 


Fresnel 


103 


500 


Straw 






6" 


Fresnel 


104 


500 


SPL (Special 
Lavender) 






6" 


Leko 


PS 


750 


Blue Green 


Area 


2 


6" 


Fresnel 


201 


500 


NC3 (no color bl 






6" 


Fresnel 


202 


500 


SPL 






6" 


Fresnel 


203 


500 


SPL 






6" 


Fresnel 


204 


500 


Amber 






6" 


Fresnel 












(tall top hat) 


TS 


500 


SPL 


Area 


3 


6" 


Fresnel 


301 


500 


NCB 






6" 


Fresnel 


302 


500 


SPL 






6" 


Fresnel 


303 


500 


NCP 






6" 


Fresnel 


304 


500 


Amber 






10 


,r Fresnel 


RS 


1000 


Blue 






Commercial 












(double 2 -way 












i 


switch) 


BS 




Clear 



PS - Porch Special 
RS - Rape Special 
BS - Bulb Special 
TS - Table Special 



113 



Sound Cue Sheet 

1. Jazz music in the distance. 

2. Sound of train in the distance. 

3. Sound of cat outside. 

4. Sound of Varsouviana in the distance. 

5. Fade in jazz music. 

6. Jazz music continues through change. 

7. Sound of Varsouviana in the distance. 

8. Sound of jazz music in the distance. 

9. Sound of Jazz music continues through the change. 

10. Sound of radio from the bedroom. 

11. Fade in of jazz music. 

12. Sound of train in the distance. 

13. Sound of thunder in the distance. 

14. Sound of chimes in the distance. 

15. Sound of Varsouviana in the distance. 

16. Sound of orchestra through the change. 

17. Phone rings in bedroom. 

18. Phone rings in bedroom. 

19. Sound of Varsouviana played in the distance. 

20. Sound of Varsouviana played in the distance. 

21. Sound of Varsouviana played in the distance. 

22. Sound of Varsouviana played in the distance. 



114 



23. Orchestra playing in the distance. 

24. Sound of chimes in the distance. 

25. Sound of Varsouviana in background as play ends. 



115 



by 
Tenaessoe Willi ams 



(Lights cose \xp slovly. revealing the tvo 
rooms of the Kovalski apartment in the 

French quarter oi* Kev Orleans, Stella 
Kovalski lounges in a rickety armchair, 
fanning herself vith a palm-leaf fan, end 
eating chocolates from a paper bag. She 
is reading a movie magaslne. Living room 
is empty. There is an imaginary vail 
betveen the tvo rooms. In living room, a 
lov door opens upon a roofless porch. On 
stair are seated tvo persons, a languid 

ro woman, who fans herself "with a palm- 
leaf fan, unci Eunice Eubbell, occupant of 
the apartment above, vho is eating peanuts 
and reading a "confession" magazine. 
Stanley Kovalski enters, followed by 
Harold Mitchell— Mitch— his friend. Stanley 
hurries along street tvoards door of his 
apartment. Hitch lopes along behind Stanley 
trying to keep up vith the former's stride. 
Music is still heard. Lights have grovn 
brighter. ) 



Stanley 
(Opening his door, bellowing into living rocs, 
He enters from porch to above table center* ) 
usy* Steilai Eey, there, Stella, baby] 

(Mitch waits dovn right for Stanley.) 

Stella 
(Jumping up from armchair, come3 into living 
room.) 
Don't holler at me like that. 

Stanley 
(Tossing package of meat, covered vith blook, 
to Stella.) 
Catchi 



116 



Stella 
(Catching package. ) 
'•.hat' 

Stanley 
Meat! 

(Stanley and Mitch start out do\;n left.) 

Stella 
(Running to front door with package, ) 
Stanley! '.."hero arc you going'j 



(Off, ) 

BovllnrI 



Stanley 



°»toll« 



(Leaning out door, calling,) 
Can I corse watch? 

Stanley 
(Farther off.) 

Corse on I 

Stella 
Be over soonl 

(Eunice enters fron porch* Stella pats 
Eunice » s shoulder. ) 

Hallo, Eunice* Hov are you? 

Eunice 
I«» all right, 

(Stella puts meat package on table in living 

room and then exits*) 

(Eunice leans forward*, calls after Stella.) 
Tell Steve to get his a poor boy's sandwich*, 'cause nothing's 
loft here. 

(Stella corses out onto porch, closing apart- 
ment door behind her* Stella hurries out 
„ dovn left. Eunice and Negro woman laugh* 
Zunico crosses to porch* ) 

Negro Woman 
(Nudges Eunice with her elbcv*) 
What was that package he threw at her? 
(She laughs.) 



(Amused. ) 
You hush now! 



117 
Eunice 



Hcgro Woman 
(Imitating Stanley's gesture of throwing meat.) 
Catch what I 

(Women laugh together. Blanche Dubois 
enters from up left. She is carrying a 
small suitcase in one hand and a slip of 
paper in other. As she looks about, her 
expression is one of shocked disbelief. 
Her appearance is incongruous to the 
setting. She looks as if she were arriving 
at a summer tea or cocktail party in the 
garden district. She is about five years 
older than Stella. There is something about 
her uncertain manner that suggests a moth. 
Music fades away. She is carrying her 
suitcase in her left hand. Lights in street 
commence to dim, and interior lighting in 
apartment brightens. Eunice and Ilegro 
woman enter from porch. ) 

Eunice 
(Looks at Blanche — then at Negro woman, back 
at Blanche. — To Blanche.) 
What's the matter, honey? Are you lost? 

Blanche 

(Standing just to left of stair, speaking with 

a faintly hysterical humor.) 
They told me to take a streetcar named Desire, transfer 
to one called Cemetery, and ride six blocks and get off 
at Elyslan Fields! 

Eunice 
That's where you are at now. 

Blanche 
At Elysian Fields? 

Eunice 
This here, is Elysian Fields. 

(Negro woman laughs.) 

Blanche 
They mustn't have— understood—what number I wanted . . 



118 

Eunice 
What number you lookln 1 for? 

Blanche 
(Refers wearily to slip of paper in her hand.) 
Six thirty- two. 

Eunice 
(Indicating number "632" beside door of apartment.) 
You don't have to look no further. 

(Negro woman laughs.) 

Blanche 
(Crosses down left. Uncomprehendingly. ) 
I'm looking for my sister, Stella DuBois — I mean — 1-Irs. 
Stanley Kowalski. 

(Negro woman nudges Eunice, yawns broadly.) 

Eunice 
That's the party. You Just did miss her, though. 

(Negro woman rises, stretches, moves a step down 
right. ) 

Blanche 
This? Can this be her home? 

Eunice 
She's got the front part and I've got the back. 

Blanche 
Oh. She's out? 

Eunice 
(Pointing off down left.) 
You noticed that bowling alley around the corner? 

Blanche 
I'm not sure I did. 

Eunice 
Well, that's where she's at — watchin' her husband bowl. 

(Negro woman laughs.) 

You want to leave your suitcase here an 1 go find her? 



119 



Blanche 
(Moving downstage on porch. ) 

No . . . 

Negro woman 
I'll £0 tell her she come. 



Thanks. 



Blanche 
(Putting dovn suitcase.) 



(Negro -woman yawns, stretches, fanning herself, 
slouches out dovn left, drawling a "Yo' wel- 
come" to Blanche's "Thank you. "J 

Eunice 



(Pdsing. ) 
She wasn't expecting you? 

Blanche 
(Crumpling slip of paper, throwing it away. ) 
No. No, not tonight. 

Lunice 

(Puts bag of raisins in dress pocket.) 
Well, why don't you just go in and make yourself at home 
till they get back? 

(Crosses up on first step.) 

Blanche 
How could I do that? 

Eunice 
(Coming down step.) 
We own this place, so I can let you in. 

(Eunice slaps front door with flat of her 
right palm, and it flies open. Eunice 
leads Blanche in. Blanche enters living 
room, stands with some trepidation, just 
above table. Takes in the room. Eunice 
looks at Blanche, then at her suitcase, 
then picks up Blanche's suitcase, steps 
into room, sets suitcase beside kitchen 
cabinet, picks up broom from floor near 
door. Puts broom against right side of 
ice-box, then notices Blanche's expres- 
sion, itonice moves to pick up two of 
Stella's dresses which have been lying 



120 



on day-bod, and starts toward bedroom -with 
them. Sho has closed front door. Blanche 
follows Eunice in bedroom doorway. Eunice, 
as she picks up broom, ) 

It's klnda messed up right now, but when it's clean it's 
real sweet. 

Blanche 
(Looking about. ) 
Is it? 

Eunice 
Uh-huh, I think so. So you're Stella's sister? 

Blanche 

(Putting down suitcase and lifting her veil. ) 
Yes. 

(Wanting to get rid of Eunice. Counter cross.) 
Thanks for letting me in. 

Eunice 
(In bedroom, spreading or brushing bed a 
bit.) 

Por nada, as the Mexicans say — por nadai 
(Pause. ) 

Stella spoke of you. 

(She disposes of dresses in bedroom on bed 
and on her way back, picks up apple from a 
small dish on radio table just inside bed- 
room door. ) 



Yes? 



Blanche 
(Takes off gloves.) 



Eunice 
I think she said you taught school. 

(Has returned, stands center.) 

Blanche 
Yes. 

Eunice 
And you're from Mississippi, huh? 

(Wipes apple on sleeve of dress. Eat apple 
up left at icebox. ) 

Blanche 
Yes. 



121 



Eunice 
She shoved me a picture of your home place, the plantation, 
(To table and sit on table.; 

Blanche 
Belle Reve? 

Eunice 
A great big place "with white columns* 

Blanche 
— Yes . • • 

Eunice 
Sure must be a job to keep up, a place like that. 

Blanche 
If you vill excuse me, I'm just about to drop. 

Eunice 
Sure, honey. Why don't you set down? 
(Eats apple.) 

Blanche 
What I meant was I'd like to be left alone. 

Eunice 
(Ar>ple at mouth — pauses — pats foot—rises. 
Offended.) 
Well, I don't need a wall of bricks to fall on me I 
(Rises and stays at tabic.) 

Blanche 
I didn't mean to be rude, but — 

Eunice 
I'll just drop by the bowling alley and hustle her up. 
(Exits.) 

(Blanche looks about her. Crosses to cabinet 
and icebox and pours drink at cabinet. Downs 
it. Lights cigarette. Pours another drink 
and crosses to living room chair, then sits.) 

Blanche 
I've got to keop hold of myself. 

(Stella hurries in from down left, followed 



122 



by Eunice, Stella rushes into apartment and 
enters up left stage of table, .Eunice goes 
up spiral stairs to her apartment, ) 

Stella 
(Calling out joyfully as she opens door,) 
Blanche I Blanche 1 

(For a moment, the sisters stare at one an- 
other, Stella rushes into her sister's 
arms up center in living room, ) 

Blanche ' 

Stella, oh Stella, Stella! Stella for Star! 

(Ker following speeches are delivered with 
a feverish vivacity as if she feared for 
either of them to stop and think.) 
Now, then, let me look at you, 

(Turns away down right.) 
But don't you look at me, Stella, no, no, no, not till 
later, not till I've bathed and res ted I I won't be 
looked at in this merciless glare 1 Come back here, now! 
Oh, my baby! Stella! Stella for Star! 

(Embraces Stella again, ITear center of living 
room. Leads Stella to living room chair and 
sits her down. ) 
I thought you would never come back to this horrible 
place! What am I saying? I didn't mean to say that. 
I meant to be nice about it and say — oh, what a conven- 
ient location and such Precious lamb, you haven't 

said a word to me. 

(Crosses to center stage.) 

Stella 
You haven't given me a chance to honey. 

(She laughs, embraces Blanche, but her 
glance at her sister is a little anxious.) 

31anche 

Well, now, you talk. Open your pretty mouth and talk 

while I look around for some liquor. 
(Crosses to kitchen, ) 

I know you must have some liquor on the place. Where 

can it be, I wonder? Oh, I spy! I spy! 

(Crosses to kitchen cabinet. Blanche takes 
bottle and glass from it. They nearly slip 
from her grasp. She is shaking, panting for 
breath, and trios to laugh. Stella moves to 
left of Blanche, takes bottle, and leads 



125 



Blanche to nunbor three table and then 
crosses to kitchen, ) 

Stella 

Blanche, you sit down and lot me pour the drinks. 

(Blanche retreats to center of living room, 
Stella brings bottle and glass to table 
right. Pouring a shot. ) 

I don't know what we've got to mix with. Maybe a coke's 

in the ice-box. 

Blanche 
No coke, honey. Hot with my nerves tonight. 

(Stella puts bottle on table, puts the 
stopper in it. Blanche crosses center with.' 
her drink as Stella goes to ice-box, opens 
it and peers inside. 5 
Where— where is——? 

Stella 

(At ice-box. ) 
Stanley? Bowling! He loves it. 

(Blanche drinks. ) 
They're having a— 

(Grabs bottle in ice-box. ) 
—found some sodal — tournament! 

Blanche 
Just water, baby, to chase it. 

(Stella returns to table with coke, jar 

of water, bottle-opener, which she has 

picked up from top of ice-box. ) 
Now, don't get worried. Your sister hasn't turned into 
a drunkard. She's just all shaken up and hot and tired 
and dirty. 

(Crosses a bit left.) 
You sit down and explain this place to mo. What on 
earth are you doing in a place like this? 

Stella 
(Puts water- jar on table. Sits in chair number 
two above table, opens coke, sips it.) 
Now, Blanche. 

Blanche 
Oh, I'm not going to be hypocritical. I'm going to be 
honestly critical. Never, ne-ver^ never in my worst 
dreams could I picture — - 



124 



(Rises and Gestures toward apartment. Turning 

back to Stella. ) 
Only Pool Only Vj?. ICdgar Allan Poo — could do it Justice I 

(Gestures towards street.) 
Out there, I suppose, is the ghoul-haunted woodland of 
Weir I 

(Laughs. ) 

Stella 
No, honey — those are the L.&N, tracks. 

Blanche 

(Taking step toward s Stella. ) 
No, hov; seriously, putting Joking aside. Why didn't you 
tell no? Why didn't you write me? Honey, why didn't 
you let mo know? 

(A step nearer. ) 

Stella 

Tell you what, Blanche? 

Blanche 
Why, that you had to live in these conditions? 

Stella 

(Rises. Crosses upstage and places coke 

in kitchen. ) 
Aren't you being a little intense about it? It's not 
that bad at all I New Orleans isn't like other cities. 

(Puts hands gently on Blanche.) 

Blanche 

(Moving from Stella's touch.) 
This has got nothing to do with New Orleans. You might 
as well say — 

(Pats Stella on downstage shoulder with right 

hand. ) 
— forgive me, blessed baby. The subject is closed, 

(Koves down right one step. ) 

Stella 
(Starting left, above Blanche.) 
Thanks. 

Blanche 
(Restraining Stella with her voice. Looks 
into her shaking glass, then crosses to left 
of table.) 
You're all I've got in the world, and you're not glad to 



125 



see me! 

Stella 
(Crosses to Blanche. ) 
Why, Blanche, you know that's not true. 

Blanche 
(Turns to her. ) 
2;0? — I'd forgotten how quiet you are. 

Stella 
You never did give me a chance to say much, honey. So 
I just got in the habit of being quiet around you. 
(Exits into bedroom to tidy it. ) 

Blanche 
That's a good habit to get into. 

(Takes another sip from drink. Crosses to 

bedroom. ) 
You haven't asked me yet how I happened to get away from 
the school before the spring term ended. 

Stella 
(Picks up garments from bed.) 
Well, I thought you'd volunteer that information if 
you wanted to tell me. 

Blanche 
(Brings drink into bedroom, pauses above 
armchair. ) 
You thought I'd been fired? 

Stella 
No. I — thought you might have resigned. ... 

Blanche 
(Crosses and leans on vanity.) 
I was so exhausted by all I'd been through my — nerves 
just broke. I was on the verge of — lunacy, almost 1 
So Mr. Graves — Mr. Graves is the high school superin- 
tendent — he suggested I take a leave of absence.— I 
couldn't put all of those details into the wire # . .Oh, 
this buzzes right through me and feels so good I 

Stella 

(Crosses and sits on chair.) 
Won't you have another? 



125 



Blanche 
No , one ' s my limit* 

(Checks self in mirror, ) 

Stella 
Sure? 

Blanche 
(Looks in mirror above arcs -ing table, turns 
to Stella. ) 
You haven't said a "word about my appearance. 

(Takes off hat, takes it up to bureau and 
returns. ) 

Stella 
You look just fine. 

Blanche 

(Removes hat and cloves, puts them on 

dressing table. Keeps purse on left arm. 

Primps at mirror. ) 
God love you for a liari Daylight never exposed so 
total a ruin! But you — you've put on some weight, yes, 
you're just as plump as a little partridge! 

(Stella stands up as Blanche regards her.) 
And it's so becoming to you! 

■ * Stella 

Nov;, Blanche 

Blanche 

(Crossing down left.) 
Yes, it is, it is, or I wouldn't say it* You just have 
to watch a little around the hips. 

(Pushes her down right.) 
You mess}' child, you, you've spilt something on that 
protty white lace collar! 

(Turns her to face Blanche. ) 
About your hair — you ought to have it cut in a feather 
bob with your dainty features! 

(Looks at Stella's hands.) 
You have a maid, don't you? 

Stella 
(Crosses to vanity. ) 
No. With only two rooms it's — 

Blanche 
What? Two rooms, did you say? 



127 



Stella 

Yes, this one and 

(She is embarrassed. Gestures toward living 
room, ) 

Blanche 
(Steps toward living room*) 

And the other one? 

(Blsnche crosses first to k.' tchen table to 
pour drink. Stella crosses to kitchen, ) 

I'm going to take just one tiny little nip more, just 

to put the stopper on, so to speak, . , . 

{Crosses to cabinet. She pours a drink,) 

Then put the bottle away. Put the bottle aw ay I So I 

won't be tempted, 

(She drinks, extends bottle to Stella, who 
takes it, puts it back into cabinet. Blanche 
drinks, puts down glass. Stella crosses to 
above table. Blanche put' purse on table. 
Taking off her jacket, she whirls left.) 

I want you to take a look at my figureld I haven't put 

on one ounce in ten years. I weigh now what I weighed 

the summer you left Belle Rove. The summer Dad died and 

you left us. 

(She starts drifting up center. Carries 
jacket. ) 

Stella 
(Stella is above table, speaks a little 
wearily. ) 
It's just incredible, Blanche, how well you're looking. 

Blanche 
(Up center, touching her forehead shakily.) 
Stella, there's — only two rooms? I don't see where 
you're going to put me. 

Stella 
(Gestures toward daybed, ) 
We're going to put you right here, 

Blanche 
(Coming to day-bed, punching it. ) 
What kind of bed's this? 

Stella 
Does it feel all right? 



123 



Blanche 

(Dubiously. Gestures to bedroom. ) 
Wonderful, honey. I don't like a bed that gives much. 

(She crosses into arch between rooms, where 

Stella lies on bed. ) 
But there's no door between the rooms, and Stanley— will 
it be decent? 

(Turns towards Stolla. ) 

Stella 
Stanley is Polish, you know. 

(Crosses to bedroom bed and sits.) 

Blanche 

(Crosses to bedroom.) 
Oh, yes. That's something like Irish, isn't it? 

Stella 
Well 

Blanche 
I brought some nice clothes to meet all your lovely 
friends in. 

Stella 
I'm afraid you won't think they are lovely. 

Blanche 
What are they like? 

Stella 
They're Stanley's friends. 

Blanche 
(Crosses to bedroom chair.) 
Po lacks? 

Stella 
They're a mixed lot. 

Blanche 
(Sits.) 
Heterogeneous — typos? 

Stella 
Oh, yes. Yes, types is right I 

Blanche 
Well — anyhow — I brought some nice clothes, and I'll wear 



129 



then. I guess you're hoping I'll say I'll put up at a 
hotel, but I'm not going to put up at a hotel. I want 
to be near you, Stella; I've got to bo with people, I 
can't be alone! Because — as you must have noticed — 
I'm — not very welll 

(Her voice drops, her look is frightened. 

Stella crosses to Blanche.) 

Stella 
You seem a little bit nervous or overwrought or something. 

Blanche 
Will Stanley like me, or will I be just a visiting in-law? 
I couldn't stand that, Stella. 
(Turns to Stella.) 

Stella 
(Turns to Blanche. Crosses center.) 
You'll get along fine together, if you'll just try not to- 
well — compare him with men we went out with at home. 

Blanche 
Is he so — different? 

Stella 
Yes. A different species. 

Blanche 
In what way; what's he like? 

Stella 
Oh, you can't describe someone you're in love with. 

(Crosses to vanity, picks up photo of 

Stanley. ) 
Here's a picture of him I 

Blanche 
(Crosses to vanity and takes photo.) 
An officer? 

Stella 
A Master Sergeant in the Engineers' Corps. Those are 
decorations I 

Blanche 
Ke must have had those on when you met him? 

Stella 
I assure you I wasn't just blinded by all the brass. 
But of course there were things to adjust myself to later 
on. 



130 



Blanche 
Such as his civilian background! How did ho take it vhen 
you told him I was coming* 

(Crosses to bedroom chair.) 

Stella 
Oh, Stanley doesn't know yet. 

Blanche 
(Frightened.) 
You — haven't told him? 

Stella 
He's on the road a good deal. 

Blanche 
(Crosses to vanity.) 
Oh. He travels? 

Stella 
Yes. 

Blanche 
GoodI I mean — isn't it? 

Stella 
(Takes photo. ) 
I can hardly stand it vhen he's away for a night. • . 

Blanche 
Why, Stella! 

Stella 
When he's away for a week, I nearly go wild I 

Blanche 
(Crossing up left.) 
Gracious 1 

Stella 
And when he comes back I cry on his lap like a baby. 

Blanche 
(Crosses to head of bed.) 
I guess that is what is meant by being in love . . . 

- (Stella looks up with a radiant smile.) 
Stella 

Stella 
What? 



131 



Blanche 
(With hesitancy, ) 
I haven't asked you the things you probably thought I 
was going to ask you. So I expect you to be understand- 
ing about what I have to tell you. 

Stella 

What, Blanche? 

(Her face turns anxious.) 

Blanche 

(Crosses to down left chair. Faces away. ) 
Well, Stella — you're going to reproach me. I know that 
you're bound to reproach 12c — but before you do — take 
into consideration — you left I I stayed and struggled 1 

(Turns toward her. ) 
You came to New Orleans and looked after yourself! I 
stayed at Belle Reve and tried to hold it together I I'm 
not meaning this in any reproachful way, but all the 
burden descended on my shoulders. 

Stella 
The best I could do was make my own living, Blanche. 

Blanche 

(Beginning to shake with a new intensity. 

Moves up and down stage area. ) 
I know, I know. But you are the one that abandoned 
Belle Hove, not I! I stayed and fought for it, bled 
for it, almost died for it I 

Stella 
(Rises) 
Stop this hysterical outburst and tell me what's happened? 
What do you mean fought and bled? What kind of -*? 

Blanche 
I knew you would, Stella. I knew you would take this 
attitude about itl 

Stella 
(Sits slowly and easily. ) 
About — what? — Please? 

Blanche 
The loss— the loss . . • 
(Turns away.) 



132 



Stella 

(Turns and crosses to Blanche.) 
Belle Reve? Lost, is it? 

Blanche 
(Crosses to living room, to her purse on 
table, gets out small bottle of cologne, dabs 
a bit of it behind her ears.) 
Yes, Stella. 

(A train passes noisily along the L. & N. 
tracks outside. There is no long pause in 
dialogue for train effect. ) 

Stella 
(Leaves photo on bed. Rises, crosses to 
above left and stops at door. Looks at 
Blanche.) 
But how did it go? What happened? 

Blanche 
(Crosses to dovn left of table.) 
You're a fine one to ask me how it vent I 



Blanche I 



Stella 
(A step nearer. ) 



Blanche 
(Faces toward and to the left. ) 
You're a fine one to stand there accusing me of it! 

Stella 
(Crosses to down right chair. ) 
Blanche J 

Blanche 

(Facing audience directly.) 
I, I, I took the blows on my face and my body I All of 
those deaths I The long parade to the graveyard I Father, 
Mother 1 Margaret — that dreadful way! So big with it she 
couldn't be put in a coffin! But had to be burned like 
rubbish! You just came home in time for the funerals. 

(Turns on Stella strongly and crosses 

to behind number three.) 
And funerals aro pretty conparcd to deaths. Funorala are 
quiet, but deaths — not always. Sometimes their breathing 
is hoarse, sometimes it rattles, sometimes they cry out 



135 



to you, Don't lot me go! Even the old sometimes say, 
Don't let me gol As If you were able to stop them! 
Funerals are quiet vlth pretty flowers. And oh, what 
gorgeous boxes they pack them away in! Unless you wore 
there at the bed when they cried out, Hold me! You'd 
never suspect there was the struggle for breath and 
bleeding. You didn't dream, but I saw! Saw! Saul 
And now you sit there telling me with your eyes that I 
let the place go. How in hell did you think all that 
sickness and dying was paid for? Death is expensive, 
Miss Stella! And old Cousin Jessie, right after 
Margaret's, horsl Why, the Grim Reaper had put up his 
tent on our doorstep!— Stella! Bella Heve was his 
headquarters! Honey, that's how it slipped through my 
fingers! Which of them left us a fortune? Which of 
them left us a cent of insurance, even? Only poor 
Jessie — one hundred to pay for her coffin! That was 
all, Stella! And I with my pitiful salary at the 
school! Yes, accuse me! Stand there thinking I let 
the place go! I let the place go! Where were you? 
In bed with your Polack! 

Stella 
Blanche! You be still I That's enough! 
(Crosses to bathroom.) 

Blanche 
(Crosses to doorway.) 
Where are you going? 

Stella 
(Pausing on steps leading to bathroom. ) 
I'm going to the bathroom to wash my face. 

Blanche 
Oh, Stella, Stella, you're crying! 

Stella 
Does that surprise you? 

Blanche 

Forgive me — I didn't mean to 

(Crosses to vanity. Sound of men's voices 
heard from off right. Stella goes into 
bathroom, closing door behind her. When 
men appear, and Blanche realizes it must 
be Stanley returning, she moves uncertainly 
from bathroom door to dressing table, look- 
ing apprehensively towards front door. 



134 



Stanley enter down left, followed by 
Steve and Mitch. Stanley pauses near 
door, Steve by foot of spiral stair, and 
Mitch is slightly above and to right of 
then, about to 2° out up left* As men 
enter, we hear some of following dialogue.) 

Stanley 
Is that how he got it? 

Steve 
Sure that's how he got it.— He hit the old weather-bird 
for three hundred bucks on a six-number- ticket. 

Mitch 
Don't tell him those things; he'll believe it. 

(Starts out, up left. ) 

Stanley 
(Restraining Mitch.) 
Hey, Mitch — come back here. 

Dialogue resumes as follows. Blanche, 
at sound of voices, retires down right 
in bedroom. Picks up Stanley's photo from 
dressing table, looks at it, puts it down. 
When Stanley enters apartment, she darts 
up left, hides behind screen at head of 
bed.) 

Steve 
(Enters from porch. ) 
Hey, are we play in' poker tomorrow? 

Stanley 
Sure— at Mitch's. 

Mitch 
(Hearing this, returns quickly to stair 
rail, down right.) 
No— not at my place. My mother's still sickl 

Stanley 

Okay, at my place. . . . 

(Mitch starts out again. ) 

But you bring the beer! 

(Mitch pretends not to hear, calls out 
"Goodnight, all," and goes out up left, 



135 



singing, Eunice's voice is heard from above,) 

Eunice 
Break it up down there.' 

(Stanley reminds Mitch again to bring beer.) 
I made the spaghetti dish, and I ate it myself* 

Steve 
(Speaking as he goes upstairs. His comments 
are punctuated with various colorful expletives 
from Eunice. ) 
I told you and phoned you that we was playin' Jack's Beer, 

Eunice 
You never phoned me oncel 

Steve 
Told you at breakfast, phoned you at lunch! 

Eunice 
Never mind! Why don't you get yourself home once in a 
while? 

(Exits up steps on porch. ) 

Steve 
God damn it I Do you want it in the newspaper? 

(Disappears upstairs. Door slams shut 
above. Stanley has entered his apartment, 
closing door behind him. Notices meat on 
table in living room, takes it to ice-box, 
Blanche moves to door between rooms, looking 
at Stanley. ) 

Blanche 
(In doorway between rooms* ) 
You must be Stanley. I'm Blanche, 

Stanley 
(Taking off bowling jacket.) 
Stella* s sister? 

Blanche 
Yes. 

Stanley 
(Moving towards her. Blanche shrinks 
back a bit. ) 
H'lo. Where's the little woman? 

(Passes below Blanche and goes into bedroom, 
leaves coat on bed. ) 



136 



Blanche 

In the bathroom. 

Stanley 
Oh. 

(Crosses back into living room.) 
Didn't know you were cominc in tov:n. 

(Crosses to kitchen cabinet.) 
Where you from, Blanched 

Blanche 
Why — I — live in Laurel. 

Stanley 

(Bringing liquor bottle and glass to table. ) 
In Laurel, huh? Oh, yeah. Yeah, in Laurel, that's 
right. Not in my territory. 

(Holds up bottle to observe its depletion. ) 
Liquor goes fast in hot weather. Have a shot? 

(Crosses down left of table. Pours a drink.) 

Blanche 
No — I — rarely touch it.. 

Stanley 
(Smiling at Blanche.; 
Some people rarely touch it, but it touches them often. 
(Crosses to her. Drinks.) 



Ha-ha. 



Blanche 
(Faintly. ) 



Stanley 
(Places glass on table, takes bottle to 
cabinet, crosses again above Blanche.) 

My shirt's stickin' to me. Do you mind if I make myself 

comfortable? 

(Crosses to bed, talcing off his shirt.) 

Blanche 
(Moving toward her purse on table in living 
room. ) 
Please, please do. 

Stanley 
Be comfortable. That's my motto up where I como from. 

Blanche 
(She has picked up her purse, and looks in it.) 



137 



It's nine too, It's hard to stay looking fresh in hot 
weather. I haven't ■'..ashed or even powdered — and— - 

(Looks at Ms half-naked figure.) 
Here you are! 

(Puts cologne-soaked handkerchief to her 

face, turns away.) 

Stanley 
You know you can catch cold sitting around in damp 
things especially when you've been exercising hard 
like bowling is. You're a teacher, aren't you? 

(Crosses to table and sits number two. ) 



Yes. 

What do you teach? 

English, 



Blanche 
Stanley 
Blanche 



Stanley 
I never was a very good English student. How long are 
you here for, Blanche? 

Blanche 
I — don't know yet. 



Stanley 
You going to shack up here? 



Blanche 
I. thought I would if it's not inconvenient to you- all. 

Stanley 
Good. 

Blanche 
Travelling wears me out. 

(Crosses and sits number four.) 

Stanley 
Well, take it easy. 

(A cat screens off right, and Blanche jumps 
involuntarily toward Stanley, who is amused.) 

Blanche 
'what's that? 



133 



Stanley 
Thorn's cats I 

(Grins. Crosses to bedroom, then to bathroom 

imitating a cat. Calls.) 
Key, Stella! 

Stella 
(From bathroom. ) 
Yes, Stanley! 

Stanley 
Haven't fallen in, have youY 

I'm afraid I'll strike you as being the unrefined type. 
Stella's spoke of you a good deal. 

(Crosses up stage of chair number tvo.) 
You vere married once, veren' t you;' 

Blanche 
Yes, vhen I -was quite young. 

Stanley 
What happened? 

Blanche 

The boy — the boy died. 

(Distant lilt of the "Varsouviana" is herrd. 
Blanche, listening to music, moves choppily 
to left seat. ) 

I'm afraid I'm — going to be sick. 

(Music grovs more insistent. She tries to 
deny the sound, looking fearfully about her. 
Lights dovn slowly as she rises. When music 
reaches a crescendo, she suddenly leaps to 
her feet, pressing her hands against her 
ears. The lights fade out quickly and cur- 
tain dov:n. Cut Varsouviana. In darkness, 
the sound of the jazz band playing a blues 
number comes up full. They play through 
change. ) 



159 



ACT I 



See no 2 



Kiysh, sweetheart* 

Oh, Stanley: 



(Six o'clock the follvoing oveninc* Blanche 
is in bathroom, taking a bath. Stella, 
attired in a slip, is seated at dressing 
table in bedroom, completing her toilette. 
Her dress is on back of chair by dressing 
table, Blanche's trunk Y.r.z arrived ^n* is 
down right of living roo~ chair. It is 
o^on, and offers a view of co^c rather im- 
pressive, if gaudy, wardrobe. On chair 
above living room table, cone of Blanche's 
drosses have been carelessly dropped, 
heart-shaped Jewel-box, full of jewels, a 
rhinestone tiara, and a perfume atomiser lie 
on table. 

Stanley 

(To Stella.) (Crosses to bedroom doorway.) 



Stella 



~tr;nley 
(Indicating dresses, looking at trunk. Comes 
to living room. ) 
What's all that crap? 

Stella 

Oh, Stem! 

(She runs into his arms end kisses him, 
which he accepts with lordly composure, 
and pats her behind familiarly.) 

I'm taking Blanche to Galatoire , s for cupper and then 

to a show because it's your poker night* 

Stanley 

How about my supper, huh' I'm not going to no Calatoire's 

for su-p^QT, 

■ Stella 
(Crosses to chair number two.) 

I put you a cold plats on ice. 

Stanley 
(Going to ice-box.) 
Well ... 



140 



Stella 

I'm going to try to keep Blanche cut till the party 

breaks up, because I don't know how sho would take it; • • • 

Stanley 
(Has taken a plate from ice-box and crosses 
to table to number four and sits. Shows 
plate to Stella. Plate contains some cold 
ham and a couple of slices of liverwurst. ) 
Isn't that just dandy! 

(Eats some neat. ) 

Stella 

(Crosses to number three, kneels on chair 

above table. 
So we'll go to one of the little places in the Quarter 
afterwards, and you'd better give me some money. 

(Looks in his upper pocket for money, 

extracts some bills.; 

Stanley 
Where is she? 

Stella 
She's soaking in a hot tub to quiet her nerves. She's 
terribly upset. 

Stanley 
Over what? 

Stella 
She's been through such an ordeal. 

Stanley 
Yeah? 

(Gives Stella the money. ) 

Stella 
Stan, we've — lost Belle Revel 

Stanley 
The place in the country*; 

Stella: 

Yes. 

Stanley. 
How? 



141 



Stella 

(Separating money, and putting some of it back 
in his pocket, ) 

Oh, it had to be — sacrificed cr something, 

(A pause, while Stanley considers. Stella 
crosses to Stanley, hand on shoulder, ) 
When she comes in, be sure to say something nice about 
her appearance. And don't mention the baby. I haven't 
said anything ye'-., I'm waiting until she gets in a 
quieter conditio .* 



So? 



Stanley 
(Cuinously. ) 



Stella 
And try to understand her and be nice to her, Stan. 

(A look passes between Stanley and Stella,) 
She wasn't expecting to find us in such a small place. 
You see, I'd tried to gloss things over a little in my 
letters. 

So? 



Stanley 



Stella 
(Crosses to him, standing just at his left,) 
And admire her dress, and tell her she's locking wonderful. 
That's important to Blanche. Ear little weakness I 

Stanley 
Yeah. I get the idea. Now let's skip back a little to 
where you said the place was disposed of. 
(Stella crosses behind Stanley. ) 

Stella 
Oh! — yes ... 

Stanley 
(Grabbing a corner of Stella's dress and 
restraining her as she starts to move left.) 

How about that? Let's have a few more details on that 

subjeck. 

Stella 
It's best not to talk much about it until she's calmed 
down. 

Stanley 
So that's the deal, huh? Sister Blanche cannot be an- 



142 



noyed with business details right now! 

Stella 

You sav how sho was last night. 

Stanley 
Uffl-huh, I sav how she was. How let's have a gander at 
the bill of sale. 

Stella 
I haven* t seen. any. 

Stanley 
(Rises. ) 
What do you mean to tell me I — She didn't show you no papers, 
no deed of sale or nothing like that? 

Stella 
It seems like it wasn't sold. 

Stanley 
Well, what in hell was it, then, give away? To charity? 
(Crosses to Stella and grabs her. ) 

Stella 

Shh! She* 11 hear you. 

Stanley 
I don't care if she hears me. Let's see the papers! 

Stella 

(Directly to him. ) 
There weren't any papers, she didn't show any papers, 
I don't care about papers! 

(Crosses to living room chair.) 

Stanley 
Listen; did you ever hear of the Napoleonic Code? 

Stella 
No, Stanley, I haven't heard of the Napoleonic Code. 

Stanley 
Let me enlighten you on a point or two. 

- (Follows her and sits her down in living 
room chair. ) 

Stella 
Yes? 



143 



Stanley 
In the State of Louisiana we have what is known as the 
poleonic Code according to which what belongs to the 

vife belongs to the husband also and vice versa. For 
instance, if I had a piece of property, or you had a 

piece of property 

(Spins her around. ) 

Stella 
My head is swimming I 

Stanley 
All right. I'll wait till she gets through soaking in a 
hot tub and then I'll inquire if she's acquainted with 
the Napoleonic Code. It looks to me like you've been 
swindled, baby, and when you get swindled under the Nap- 
oleonic Code, I get swindled, too. And I don't like to 
be swindled. 

(Crosses to living room table. Sits 

number four. ) 

Stella 
There's plenty of time to ask her questions later, but 
if you do now she'll go to pieces again. I don't under- 
stand what happened to Belle Heve, but you don't know 
how ridiculous you are being when you suggest that my 
sister or I or anyone else of our family could have per- 
petrated a swindle on anyone. 
(Moves to Stanley. ) 

Stanley 
Then where 's the money, if the place was sold? 

Stella 
Not sold — lost, lost! 

(Crosses to right of number two.) 
Stanleyl 

Stanley 
(Crosses in front of table to trunk. Pulling 
some dresses from trunk, tossing them on 
couch. ) 

Will you just open your eyes to this stuff I You think she 

got them out of a teacher's pay? 

Stella 

Hush! 



144 



Stanley 
Look at these feathers and furs that she comes here to 
T/jccn herself Inl What's this here? A solid gold dress 
I believe I 

(Holds up gold dress.) 
And this one, 

(He flings out another dress,) 
What is these here? Fox pieces? 

(Holds up a white fox fur piece. She 

reaches for it. He grabs her end talks into 

her face. ) 
Genuine fox fur pieces a half a mile lonj i Where are 
your fox pieces, Stella? Bushy snow hwite ones, no 
less! Where are your white fox pieces'; 

Stella 
"nose are inexpensive summer furs that Blanche has had 
a long time. 

Stanley 
I got an acquaintance who deals in this sort of merchan- 
dise. I'll have him in here to make an appraisal of it. 

Stella 
Don't be such an idiot, Stanley. 

Stanley 
I'm willing to bet you there's a thousand dollars in- 
vested in this stuff here. 

(Spies jewel-vox out of the corner of his 

eye . Turn s to table.) 
And what have we here? Tae treasure chest of a pirate? 

(Moves to table, flips open heart-shaped 

jewel- vox. ) 

Stella 

Ch, Stanley! 

Stanley 

(Crosses in front of table and around with 

pearls. ) 
Pearls! Ropes of them! What is this sister of yours, a 
deep-sea diver? 

(Holding up bracelet, after dumping pearls on 

table. ) 
Bracelets of solid gold! Where are your pearls and gold 
bracelets? 



145 



(Stella takes bracelet from him, crosses to 
above table, puts it in Jewel-box.) 
Stella 
Shh! Be still, Stanley! 

Stanley 
(Picking up tiara from table.) 
And what is this — diamonds? A crown for an empress! 
(Moves left center, holding up tiara.) 

Stella 
(Restoring jewels to box.) 
A rhinestone tiara she were to a costume ball. 

Stanley 
What's rhinestone? 

Stella 
(Taking tiara from him, putting it in jewel-box.) 
Next door to glass. 

Stanley 
Are you kidding? 

(Crosses to trunk. ) 
I have an acquaintance that works in a jewelry store. 
He's coming up here to make an appraisal of this. 

(Gestures toward trunk.) 
Here's your plantation or what was left of it, here! 

Stella 
(Crosses to number four. ) 
You have no idea how stupid and horrid you're being. 
Now leave that trunk alone before she comes out of the 
bathroom! 

Stanley 
(Crosses to number two.) 
The Kowalskis and the DuBois' have different notions. 

Stella 

(Angrily. ) 
Indeed they have, thank heavens! 

(Crosses up left to door. ) 
I'm going outside. You come out with me while Blanche 
is getting dressed. 

Stanley 
Since when do you give ma orders? 



14v 



(Blanche opens bathroom door — turns back into 
bathroom to pick up dress. Crosses behind 
center chair. ) 

Stella 
(Facing him. ) 
Are you going to stay here and insult her? 

Stanley 
You're damn' tootin' I'm goin' to stay here. 

(Takes out a cigarette, lights it. Takes 
out another, puts it behind his ear. Ke 
crosses to down left to table and sits on it. 
Stella stands down left on porch, ana lights 
cigarette, -which she has taken from her purse. 
Blanche opens bathroom door, and emerges v 
wearing wrapper. Crosses to doorway and trunk 
for dress. ) 

Blanche 
Hello, Stanley! Here I am, all freshly bathed and 
scented, and feeling like a brand-new human being! 

Stanley 
That's good. 

Blanche 
(A step right. ) 
Excuse me while I slip on my pretty new dress! 

Stanley 
(Not getting hint.) 
Sure, go right ahead, Blanche. 

(Realizing what she wants, he rises, crosses 
into bedroom. Blanche stands modestly upstage 
by her trunk to let Stanley pass, then closes 
curtains between rooms as she says "Thank You." 
Throws robe on vanity. Sees trunk has been 
disturbed. Crosses to bedroom. ) 

Blanche 
I understand there's to be a little card party to which 
we ladies arc cordially not invited 1 

Stanley 
(Cminously. ) 
That's right 1 



147 



Blanche 

Where 1 s Stella" 

(Surveys her disordered "wardrobe in trunk. ) 

Stanley 
Cut on the porch, 

Blanche 
(Puts on her dress. After quick look at 
porch. ) 
I ! m going to ask a favor of you in a moment. 

(Stella moves to a position of right of 
spiral stair, facing right. ) 

Stanley 
What could that be, I wonder? 

Blanche 
Some buttons in back! You may enter 1 

(Stanley crosses to bedroom. ) 
How do I look? 

Stanley 
You look 0. K. 

Blanche 
Many thanks! Now the buttons! 

(Turns her back to him, stands down left 
center. ) 

Stanley 
(Stanley comes to her, makes clumsy attempt 
to fasten hooks.) 
I can't do nothing with them. 

Blanche 
You men with your big clumsy fingers. Hay I have a 
drag on your cig? 

Stanley 
(Giving her cigarette from behind his ear. ) 
Here — have one for yourself. 

Blanche 
(Crosses to number two to get dress put 
in trunk. ) 
Why, thanks! It looks like my trunk has exploded. 



148 



Stanley 
(Lighting her cigarette, after crossing to 
upstage table. ) 
Me and Stella were helping you unpack. 

Blanche 
(Moving to her trunk, picks up fur piece. ) 
..'ell, you certainly did a fast and thorough job of it. 

Stanley 
It looks like you raided some stylish shops in Paris. 
(Moves to right of her. ) 

Blanche 
(Arranging dress in trunk. Puts furs in 
trunk. ) 
Yes — clothes are my passion! 

Stanley 
(Crosses to left of Blanche.) 
What does it cost for a string of fur pieces like that? 

Blanche 
Why, those vere a tribute from an admirer of mine. 
(Puts on fur. ) 

Stanley 
He must have had a lot of admiration. 

Blanche 
(Posing in fur. ) 

In my youth I excited some admiration. But look at me 

nov# 

(Crosses down front of table to behind 
number four. Smiles at him radiantly.) 

Would you think it possible that I was ever considered to 

be — attractive* 

Stanley 
Your looks are okay. 

Blanche 
(Laughs, puts fur back in trunk.) 
I was fishing for a compliment, Stanley. 

Stanley 
I don't go in for that stuff. 

Blanche 
What—stuff? 



140 



Stanley 

(Crosses behind number two. ) 
Compliments to women about their looks. I never met a 
woman that didn't know if she was good-looking or not 
without being told, and some of them give themselves 
credit for more than they've got. I once went out 
with a dame who said to me, "I am the glamorous type, 

(Imitates girl, Placing his hand daintily at 

back of his neck. ) 
I am the glamorous type!" I said, "So what?" 

Blanche 
(Going to trunk with jewel-bos.) 
And what did she say then? 

Stanley 
She didn't say nothing. That shut her up like a clam. 

Blanche 
Did it end the romance? 

Stanley 
(Crosses upstage of table and sits 
. number four. ) 
it ended the conversation — that was all. Some men are 
took in by this Hollywood glamor stuff and some men 
are not. 

Blanche 
I'm sure you belong in the second category. 

Stanley 
That's right* 

Blanche 
i cannot imagine any witch of a woman casting a spell 
over you. 

Stanley 
That's — right. 

Blanche 
You're simple, straightforward and honest, a bit on the 
primitive side, I should think. To interest you a woman 

would have to 

(Pauses with an indefinite gesture. 

Stanley 
(Following at her right. ) 
Lay her ccrds on the table. 



-> - 



;o 



Blanche 
Well, I never cared for wishy-washy people; that was 

-, when you wal&ed in here last night, I said to my- 
self, "My sister has married a man I" Ox course, that was 
all I could tell about you at tho moment . 
(Pats his shoulder. ) 

Stanley 
(Stands up. Booming. ) 
All right! How about cut tin' the re-bop I 

Blanche 
(V;ith mock covering, hands over her ears. 
Moves a step left.) 



Ouuu! 



(Stella, hearing commotion, rushes into room. ) 



Stella 
Stanley! You come out here and let Blanche finish dressing! 

Blanche 
I've finished dressing, honey. 

Stella 
. 11, you come out then. 

Stanley 
Your sister and I are having a little talk. 
(Continues looking at Blanche.) 

Blanche 

Now, just a moment 

(Crosses to door.) 
Honey, do me a favor. Hun to the drug store and get 
me a lemon coke with plenty of chipped ice in itl Will 
you do that for me, sweetie? Please — please 

(Stanley crosses down front to trunk. ) 

Stella 



Yes. 



(Reluctantly. ) 



(Stella goes out down left. Blanche closes 
front door, and turns to Stanley. Stanley 
extinguishes cigarette on table. Blanche 
puts out cigarette in tray on table. 



151 



Crosse. i dov/n to behind table,) 

Blanch© 

The poor little thing was out there listening to us, and 
I have an idea she doesn't understand you as veil as I 
do, . • . All right, now, Mr. Kowalski, let us proceed 
vithout any more digression. I'm ready to ans\;er all 
questions. I've nothing to hide. What is it? 

(Sprays herself with atomizer she picks up 

from table.) 

Stanley 
(Moving closer to her. Patiently. ) 
In the state of Louisiana thore is such a thing as the 
Napoleonic Code, according to which whatever belongs to 
the wife belongs to the husband and vice versa. 

Blanche 
Ky, but you have an impressive, judicial airl 

(She sprays him with atomiser, laughs.) 

Stanley 

(Seizing her right wrist. ) 
If I didn't know you was my wife's sister I'd get ideas 
about you. 

(Releases her hands.) 

Blanche 
Such as what? 

Stanley 
(Pushing her hand aside.) 
Don't play so dumb. You know what! 

Blanche 

(Puts atomizer on table.) 
All right, cards on the table. 

(Gestures cards while crossing in front of 

table.) 
That suits me. I know I fib a good deal. 

(Down right at trunk. ) 
After all, a woman's charm is fifty per cent illusion, 
but when a thing is important I tell the truth, and this 
is the truth: I haven 1 t cheated my sister or you or 
anyone else as long as I have lived. 

Stanley 
Where are the papers? In the trunk? 



152 



Blanche 
Everything I own Is in that trunk. What in the- name 
of heaven are you thinking of? VJhat's in the back of 
that little boy's mind of yours? 

(Blanche crosses behind Stanley, Stanley 

crosses to trunk and opens it. Blanche 

crosses to trunk. ) 
Let mo do that, it'll be faster and simpler! 

(Takes out tin deed-box and sits on trunk.) 
I keep my papers mostly in this tin box. 

Stanley 
(Looking over her shoulder into drawer. ) 
■..'hat's them underneath? 

Blanche 
Love letters, yellowing with antiquity, all from one boy, 
( "Varsouviana" is heard in background. 

Stanley grabs up letters and crosses to 
center bedroom. Blanche, with a cry, 
replaces tin box in second drawer of 
trunk. ) 
Give those back to me! 

(She follows. Stanley pulls ribbon off 
letters, holds Blanche off, as she comes 
at him from left side, then from behind, 
in an attempt to get letters.) 

Stanley 
I'll have a look at them first. 

Blanche 
(Tugging at Stanley's right arm.) 
The touch of your hand insults them! 

Stanley 
(Looking at letters.) 
Don't pull that stuff! 

Blanche 
(Struggling to get letters.) 
Nov/ that you've touched them, I'll burn them! 

(Letters scatter to floor. Blanche runs 
above Stanley to center, falls to her 
knees, gathers letters up, ties ribbon 
around them. ) 



153 



Stanley 
What are thoy? 

Blanche 
(Cn her knees, ) 

Poems, a dead boy wrote. I hurt him the way that you 
would like to hurt raoj but you can't! I'm not young and 
vulnerable any more. But my young husband was, and I — 
never mind about that. 

Stanley 
(Grosses to living room center stage.) 
What do you mean by saying you'll have to burn them? 

Blanche 
(Tying up letters. ) 

I'm sorry. I must have lost my head fox- a moment. 

Everyone has something he won't let others touch because 

of their — intimate nature . . . 

("Varsouviana" fades off. Crosses to 
Stanley' and gives him box of letters.) 

Ambler and Ambler. 

Stanley 
What is Ambler and Ambler? 

Blanche 
(Looks in tin box. ) 
A firm that made loans on the place. 

(Piles tin box on top of envelope. Turns away 
from him. ) 

Stanley 
Then it was lost on a mortgage! 

Blanche 
That must've been what happened. 

Stanley 
I don't want no ifs, ands or buts! What's all the rest 
of the papers? 

Blanche 
„ (Looking into last envelope of papers at 
trunk. Crosses to trunk and sits.) 
There are thousands of papers stretching back over 
hundreds of years affecting Belle Reve, as piece by 



15 A 



st 



piece our Improvident grandfathers and father and uncles 
and bro there exchanged the land for the epic fornications— 
to put it plainly. The four-letter word deprived uc of 
our plantation, till finally all that was left, and Stella 
can verify that, was the house itself and about twenty 
acres of ground, including a graveyard to which now all 
but Stella and I have retreated. 

(Dumping then: into his hands on table after 
crossing to Stanley. Stanley sits number 
three. ) 
Here they all are, all papers! I hereby endow you with 
them! Take then, peruse them — commit them to memory, 

m! I think it's wonderfully fitting that Belle Rave 
should finally be this bunch of old papers in your big, 
capable hands. 

(Jazz music offstage. Drops empty envelope 
on table right stage. Crosses to door. ) 
I wonder if Stella's come bach with s^y lemon coke? 

Stanley 
(Collecting papers.) 
I have a lawyer acquaintance will study these out. 

Blanche 
Present them to him with a box of aspirin tablets. 

Stanley 

(Still seated, somewhat sheepish. Crosses 

center. ) 
You see, under the Napoleonic Code — a man has to take an 
interest in his wife's affairs — especially now that she's 
going to have a baby. 

Blanche 

Stella? Stella's going to have a baby? 

(Leans on icebox. Stanley crosses to bed 
and sits.) 

I didn't knew she was going "to have a baby. 

(Stella appears from down left with coke in 
a carton. Blanche hurries across to Stella, 
takes her out on to porch. Blanche crosses 
right of table. ) 

Stella, Stella for star! How lovely to have a baby! 

It's all right. Everything s all right. 

Stella 
I'm sorry he did that to you. 

Blanche 
Oh, I guess he's just not the type that goes for jasmine 



perfume, but maybe he's what we need to mix with our blood 
now that we've lost Belle Reve. We thrashed it out. I 
feci a bit shaky, but I think I handled it nicely, I 
laughed and treated it all as a joke. 

(Pacing. ) 

(Steve and Pablo appear from up right, carrying 

case of beer. ) 
I called him a little boy and laughed and flirted. Yes, 
I was flirting with your husband I 

(As men approach. ) 
The guests are gathering for the poker party. 

(Men pass through, tipping their hats to ladies. 

Pablo says "Hi, Steli." Inside men start 

putting beer in ice-box, ) 
Which way do we go now, Stella — this way? 

(Points left.) 

Stella 
No, this way. 

(Leads Blanche off down left.) 

Blanche 
(Laughing and starting off down left. ) 
The blind are leading the blind! 

(Lights fade — curtain. Jazz music swells and 
is heard through change. ) 



156 



ACT I 
Scene 3 



(The poker night. 

Later that night. In living room, Stanley, 

bch, Steve and Pablo are gathered about 
table, bunched over their cards, smoking, 
concentrating. Empty beer bottles arc strung 
about, and a couple of liquor bottles, half- 

pty, are in evidence. One on table. Pablo 
is in a chair below table, facing upstage. 
Table is covered with a large scrap of green 
baize. Music fades off quickly at rise. 
Mitch is in number two chair; Stanley, number 
three; Steve, number four. A low exchange 
of conversation passes between the men. Each 
has a hand of cards. 



Mitch 
(Yawning. ) 

What time is it? 

Stanley 
What the hell difference does it make? 

Steve 
He won't quit till he wins a pot. Anything wild in 
this deal? 

Pablo 
One-eyed ^acks are wild. 

(Mitch drinks from bottle.) 

Steve 
(To Pablo.) 
How many cards did you take? 



Two. 

(Rising. ) 

Anyone want a shot? 



Pablo 
Mitch 



Stanley 
(Taking bottle from Mitch.) 
Yeah, me. 



1 .n 



(Mitch sits on left end of table, facing 

left, and tucks some winnings into his pocket.) 

Pablo 
Why don't somebody go to the Chinaman's and bring back 
a load of chop suey? 

(Cards down* Steve wins.) 

Stanley 

When I'm losing you want to eat. Get it off the table, 
Mitch. Nothing belongs on the table but cards, chips and 
whiskey . 

Mitch 

(Gets off table. Takes up cards.) 
King of on your high horse, ain't you? 

(Card business. Mitch looks at his watch. 

Stanley deals cards. Mitch sits.) 
V. r ell, I ought to go home pretty soon. 

Stanley 
Shut up. 

Mitch 
I got a sick mother. She don' t go to sleep until I get 
in at night. 

Stanley 
Then why don't you stay home with her? 

Mitch 
She says to go out, so I go, but I don't enjoy it. All 
the while I keep wondering how she is. 

Stanley 
Aw, for the sake of Jesus, will you go home then! 

Mitch 

(Tucking away his winnings. Rises.) 
You all are married. But I'll be alone when she goes. 
I'm going to the bathroom. 

(Crosses to bathroom.) 

Stanley 
Hurry back and we'll fix you a sugar-tit. 

Mitch 
Aw— lay off! 



What've you got? 



153 

Pablo 



Steve 

I got a spade flush. All right, boys — this game ±3 seven 

card stud, 11 

(Tells joke as he shuffles cards.) 
This ole farmer is out in back of his house sittin 1 down 

owin' corn to the chickens when all at once ho hears 
a loud cackle end this young hen comes lickety-split 
around the side of the house with the rooster right behind 
her and gaining on her fast, 

Stanley 
(Impatiently. ) 
Deal the cards 

Steve 

(Resumes story and deals.) 
But when the rooster catches sight of the farmer throwin 1 
the corn he puts on the brakes and lets the hen get away 
and starts pecking corn. And the old farmer says, "Lord 
God, I hopes I never cits that hongryl" 

(Finishes deal. Pablo end 3teve enjoy story. 

The three men commence playing in earnest. 

Stella and Blanche appear from down left, 

come onto the porch, Blanche carries a paper 

lantern in a paper bag. ) 

Stella 
(At closed front door. ) 
Ehe game is still going on. 

Blanche 
How do I look? 

Stella 
Lovely, Blanche. 

(Turns to door. ) 

Blanche 

Wait before you open the door till I powder. 

(Hands Stella paper bag. ) 
I felt so hot and frazzled. Do I look done in? 

Stella 
You look as fresh as a daisy. 

Blanche 
at nonsenso! 



159 



(Blanche finishes pondering, takes back her 
parcel, Stella opens door. Blanche enters 
first, crossing above table to near door bet- 
ween rooms. Stella pauses above table.) 

Stella 
(Enters, crosses right to upstage table.) 
Well, well, veil, I see you boys are still at it I 

Stanley 
Where you been? 

Stella 
Blanche and I took in- a show. Blanche, this is Mr. 
Gonzales and Mr. Hubbell. 

(Indicates the men. ) 

Pablo 
Eiyahl 

Blanche 

Please don't get up. 

(Absently. Steve starts to rise, looking 
at his cards. ) 

Stanley 

(Restraining Steve. ) 
Nobody ! s going to get up, so don't get worried. 

Stella 
How much longer is this game going to continue? 
(Crosses up a bit. ) 

Stanley 
( Taking a drink. ) 
Till we get ready to quit. 

Blanche 
(Crosses to chair number four.) 
Poker is so fascinating. Could I kibitz? 
(lie aches for a card.) 

Stanley 
- (Slapping at her hand.) 
You could not I 

Blanche 
Excuse me! 



160 



(She goes into bedroom. Stella has taken 
Pablo's coat off couch, hands it across table. 
Stanley whips it out of her hand, it falls 
to floor. Pablo yells: "My coat!", jumps 
up to retrieve it, placing it over back of his 
chair, resuming his place in game. ) 

Stanley 
Why don't you women go up to Eunice's? 

Stella 

Because it's nearly two thirty. 

(Stella is to right of Stanley. Blanche has 
gone into bedroom. Puts her hat and gloves on 
bed and her bag and package on dressing table* 
Then sits on bed. ) 

Couldn't you call it quits after one more hand? 

(Crosses upstage to bed. Stanley whacks her 
on the backside.) 

That's not fun, Stanley! 

(Angrily she crosses to bedroom. Pablo laughs, 
and men continue playing cards. To Blanche.) 

It makes me so mad when he does that in front of people. 



I think I will bathe. 
Again? 



Blanche 
Stella 



Blanche 
My nerves are in knots. Is the bathroom occupied? 



(Rises. ) 



I don' t know. 



Stella 



(Sits in left chair in bedroom. Blanche 
has crossed to bathroom door, and knocks, 
Mitch opens door, comes out, towel in hand,) 

Blanche 
Ch! — good evening! 

Mitch 
Hello. 

(Stares at her. ) 



16: 



Stella 
■Ohl Blanche, this is. Harold Mitchell. My sister, Blanche 
DuBois. 

Blanche 
How do you do 4 ; 

Mitch 
(With awkward courtesy. ) 
How do you do, Miss DuBois? 

Stella 
How is your mother, Mitch? 

(Card game is finished. They rise.) 

Mitch 

About the same, thanks, 

(Stepping down from step to floor.) 

She appreciated your sending over that custard. 

(He starts forward, awkwardly, but cannot 
pass between the girls.) 

Excuse me, please. 

(Girls ad lib — "Oh excuse me," and Mitch 
makes his way past girls, to living room 
table and then to door center. Stella 
removes hat. The girls turn to watch him, 
smiling at his confusion. At door, he 
realizes he still is clutching towel. 
Overcome with embarrassment, he steps back into 
room and hands it to Stella. Quickly, she puts 
it on bed rail. He pushes aside curtains and 
returns to game. Shortly after seating himself, 
he gets into his shoes. Pablo deals. Girls 
giggle. ) 

Blanche 

(Moving to center door, unfastening dress.) 
That one seems — superior to the others. 

Stella 
(Puts her hat on bureau, then goes to closet, 
returns with bathrobe, nightgown and slippers.) 
Yes, he is. 

Blanche 
I thought he had a sort of sensitive look. 
(Crosses to vanity. ) 



162 



Stella 
His mother is sick. 

(They both giggle.) 

Blanche 
(Takes off dress. ) 
Is he married^ 

Stella. 
(Takes off shoes.) 
No. 

(Puts robe on chair. ) 

Blanche 
Is he a wolf? 

Stella 

(Puts on slippers. ) 
Why, Blanche! 

(31anche giggles. ) 
No I I don't think he would be. 

Blanche 

(Crosses to left chair. ) 
What aces — what does he do? 

Stella 
(T.kes off her dress at dressing table.) 
He's on the precision bench in the spare parts depart- 
ment. At the plant that Stanley travels for. 

Blanche 
Is .that something much? 

Stella 
No, Stanley's the only one of his crowd that's likely to 
get anywhere. 

Blanche 
What makes you think Stanley will? 
(Puts on slippers.) 

Stella 
Look at ^him. 

(Stanley is drinking from bottle.) 

Blanc 
(Crosses to doorway.) 
I've looked at him. 



1 r ~* 



Stella 
Then you should know. 

Blanche 
I*m sorry but I haven't noticed the stamp of genius on 
Stanley's forehead, 

Stella 

It isn't on his forehead and it isn't genius, 

Blanche 
Oh. Well, what is it, and where? I would like to 

knov;. 

Stella 
It's a drive he has.. Blanche, you're standing in the 
light, 

Blanche 
(With a little cry, as if she didn't knowl. 
Crosses to chair and sits,) 
Oh, am I! Gracious] 



^.elli 



(In a suppressed aside to Blanche,) 
You ought to see their wives, 

Blanche 
(Almost laughing, ) 
I can imagine. Big, beefy things, I suppose, 

Stella 
(Crosses to Blanche — carries robe and night- 
gown. Giggling o ) 
You know that one upstairs . , . ? 

y Slanche 

(Also giggling. Crosses to left chair, ) 
Oh, that horror i 

Stella 
(Almost overcome with laughter.) 

Well, one night — the plaster cracked ! 

(She nearly collapses with laughter. 
. Blanche crosses to vanity. Blanche 

is in Stella's arms, laughing her head off.) 

Stanley 
(Who is losing at csrds.) 
You hens cut out that conversation in there I 



."/'- 



Stella 
(Crossing a stop upstage.) 
You can' t hear us! 

Stanley 
Well, you can he a.- mo and I said to hush upl 

Stella 
(Crosses to doorway, ) 

Look! This is my house and I'll talk as much as I want 

Blanche 
Stella, don't make a row. 

Stella 
Oh, he's half drunk. 

(Picks up towel Hitch left, from bed rail, 
starts for bathroom. Blanche adjusts screen 
below bed. ) ■ 

Stanley 
(To Mitch, who has been looking over shoulder 
into bedroom. ) 
All right, Mitch — you in? 

(Blanche turns on radio.) 

Stella 
I'll be out in a minute. 

(She goes into bathroom, taking robe, slippers, 
nightgown and towel, closing door. ) 

Hitch 
(Pulling his attention back to came.) 
What? Oh, no— -I'm out! 

CHe starts to pull himself together, lacing 

his s] ... and getting his jacket. Blanche 

is adjusting screen around foot of bed in 

bedroom. Radio blares out a rumba.) 

Stanley 
(Bellowing at bedroom. ) 

Who turned that on in there? 

Blanc] 

(Peeking through curtains into living room. ) 
I did. Do you mind? 



165 



Stanley 

Turn it off! 

(Blanche ignores Stanley, turns back to 
screen. ) 

Steve 
Aw, let the girls have their music! 

Pablo 
Sure, that's good, Stanley! Leave it on! 

Steve 
Sounds like Xavier CugatI 

(Stanley jumps up, crosses through curtains 
to radio. Turns it off. Blanche cries: 
"Stanley!" Stands regarding Blanche for a 
long, silent pause, then returns to game. 
Fable puts down his cards. Blanche moves 
dressing table chair into position at lower 
end of dressing table, facing down right 
center. Sits. Steve, arguing with Pablo 
about the game. ) 
I didn't hear you name it! 



Didn't name it, Mitch? 



I wasn't listenin 1 . 



Pablo 
Hitch 



Pablo 
What were you doin' then? 

Stanley 
He was looking through them drapes. How, deal the hand 
over again and let's play cards or quit. Some people 
gets ants when they win! 

(Mitch is. on his feet, getting his jacket on.) 
Sit down! 

Mitch 
(Puts on his coat. Leaning over table from 
* left side, confidentially.; 
I'm going to the "head," Deal me out. 

Steve 
(De aline) 
Sure, he } s got ants now. Saven five-dollar bills in his 



166 



pants pocket folded up tight as spit balls. 

(Mitch is taking Sen-Sen from small envelope 
in jacket pocket. Blanche returns.) 

Pablo 
Tomorrow you'll see him at the cashier's window getting 
them changed into quarters. 

(Mitch pops Sen-Sen into his mouth, restores 

envelope to pocket.) 

Stanley 
And when he goes home, he'll deposit them one by one in 
a piggy-bank* 

Steve 
(Dealing.) 

All right, boys — this sane is Spit in the Ocean. 
(Men resume their play. Mitch moves to 
bath room. ) 

Blanche 
Yes? 

(Mitch enters bedroom, spies Blanche. Pulls 

curtain closed behind him. ) 
Oh, hello. 

Mitch 
Hello. 

(Mitch makes a little gesture towards bathroom, 
crosses below her to bathroom door. ) 
ii;cuse me. 

Blanche 
(Sitting at vanity. ) 
Tae Little Boys' Room is busy right now. 

..itch 
(Pausing at foor of bathroom door, embarrassed.) 
We've — been drinking beer. 

(Crosees back toward center. ) 

Blanche 
I hate beer. 

Mitch 
(Up by armchair. ) 
It's — a hot weather drink. 

Blanche 
Oh, I don't think so, it always makes me warmer. 



167 



(Waving her cigarette-holder. ) 
Have you got any cigs? 

Mitch 

(Reaching for his case. Crosses to Blanche. ) 
Sure. 

Blanche 
What kind? 

Hitch 
(Crossing to her right with open case.) 
Luckies. 

Blanche 

(Taking one, fitting it into her cigarette- 
holder. ) 

Oh, good. 

(Noticing case.) 

What a pretty case, Silver? 

■ Mitch 
Yes. Yes, read the inscription. 
CShe takes case. ) 

Blanche 

(Peering at case. ) 
Oh, is there an inscription? I can't make it out. 
Oh J 

(Reads with feigned difficulty. ) 
"And if God choose, I shall but love thee better after 
death!" Why, that's from ray favorite sonnet by Mrs. 
Browning I 

Mitch 
(Takes case from her.) 
You know it? 

Blanche 
I certainly do! 

Mitch 

(Lights her cigarette.) 
There's^ a story connected with that inscription. 

Blanche 
It sounds like a romance. 



163 



Mitch 

.. pretty sad one. The girl's dead nov;. 

(Card game is finished. Pablo deal3 new hand.) 

Blanc. 
(In a tone of doc .. apathy* ) 

Ohl 

ten 

She knew she was dyir a she give me this. A very 
strange girl, very sweet — very! 

Blanc 
She must have been very fond of you. Sick people have 
such deep sincere attachments* 

Itch 
That's right. They certainly do. 

Blanche 
Sorrow makes for sincerity, I think. 

Hitch 
It sure brings it out in people. 

Blanche 
The little there is belongs to people who have know some 
sorrow. 

Mitch 
(Crosses to Blanche. ) 

I believe you are right about that. 

Blanc] 

I'm positive that I : . Show 2:2 a person that hasn't 
known sorrow and I'll show you a superficial person. 
Listen to me! My tongue is a little thick! You boys 

3 responsible for it. The show let out at eleven and 
we couldn't come home on account of the poker game so 
we had to go no: re and drink. I'm not accustomed 

to having more than one drink. Two is my limit — and 
three! 

(Laughs. ) 
Tonight I had three. 

Stanley 

(Bellowing. ) 
Mitch! 



169 



itch 
(Crosses to door* ) 
Deal me out, I'm talking to Miss 

Blanche 
DuBois. 

Mitch 
(Repeating name into living room. ) 
DuBois. 

(Pulls curtains back into place, turns to 
Blanche. ) 

Blanche 
It's a French name. It means woods and Blanche means 
white so the two together moan white woods. Like an 
orchard in spring! You can remember it by that— if you 
care to. 

Mitch 
You're French? 

Blanche 
We are French by extraction. Cur first American an- 
cestors were French Huguenots. 

Mitch 
You are Stella's sister, are you not? 

Blanche 
Yes, Stella is my precious little sister. I call her 
little in spite of the fact that she's somewhat older 
than I. 

Mitch 
Chi 

Blanche 
Just a little. Less than a year. 

-.itch 
Uh-huh. 

Blanche 
Will you do something for me? 

Mitch 
Sure. Yes> what? 

(Crosses in to her. ) 



170 



Bl i 
s to chair for lantern and hands it 
to Mitch, ) 
I bought this adorable little colored paper lantern at 
nese chop on Bourbon, Put it over "the light bulb! 
Will you, please 1 

- itch 
(Unfolding lantern, ) 
Be glad to. 

(Card game is finished, Stanley deals,) 

Blanche 
I can't stand a naked light bulb, any more than I can a 
rude remark or a vulgar action, 

(Crosses to front of chair.) 

itch 
(Fussing clumsily with lantern, as if it were 
an accordion, ) 
I guess we strike you as being a pretty rough bunch, 

Blanc. 
I'm very adaptable — to circumstances, 

itch 
1, that's a good thing to bo. You are visiting Stanley 
and Stella? 

. 
Stella hasn't aeon so well lately, and I came down to 
help her for a while. She's very run down. 

hitch 
You're not— — ? 

;mche 
Harried? No. No, I'm en old Liaid school teacher. 
(Sits in bedroom chair.) 

hitch 
You may teach school but you're certainly not an old maid. 

Blanche 
Thank you sir! I appreciate your gallantry! 

.ten 
(Working with lantern.) 
So you are in the tcac ^ :,_ofession? 



171 



Blanche 
(Moves down to opposite Mitch.) 
Yes, Ah, yes • • • 

Kit eh 
(Fussing with lantern, svings bracket downstage. ) 
Grade school or high school or ? 

Stanley 
(Bellowing. ) 

Hey, Mitch! 

(Starts up. Ken restrain him. ) 



tch 

(Bellowing back. ) 



Coming I 



(Blanche collapses into chair by dressing 
table. Stanley sits, glowering, resumes 
game.) 

Blanche 
Gracious, what lung power I I teach high school. In 
Laurel. 

• lata w 0._ 

(Puts lantern on bracket, ) 
.at do you teach? What subject? 

Blanche 
You guess I 

Mitch 

I bet you teach art of music? 

(Blanche laughs delicately. ) 
Of course I could be wrong. You might teach arithmetic. 

Blanche 
Never arithmetic, sir, never arithmetic 1 

(Laughs. ) 
1 don't even know my multiplication tables! No, I have 
the misfortune of being an — 'iglish instructor. I 
attempt to instill a bunch of bobby-soxers and drug- 
store Homoos with a reverence for Hawthorn and Whitman 
and Pool 

Mitch 

(Crosses half way to her.) 
I gues that some of them are more interested in other 
things. 



- no 



Blanc 
How very right you are! Their literary heritage is 
no. b they treasure above all else! But they're 

et things! And in the spring, it's touching to 
notice . . discovery of love! As 

if nobody had c it before! 

iey laugh .tog - itch mutters ".Cxcuse 
i, M and st : just as Stella opene 
bathroom door. He is in her \ 7, and turns 
around rather foolishly, nearly bumping first 
into Stella, then almost backing into Blanche, 
who rises, and looks at lantern.) 
Ch, have you finished? 



Km? 

Ch, yes! 



Mitch 
(Notices lantern. ) 
(Starts to switch on bracket. ) 



Blanche 

No. Wait! I'll turn on the radio! 

(She crosses to radio, turns it on, it 
plays n \ I Wienl") 

Turn on the light above now! 

(Mitch snaps on light. ) 

Oh, look! We've made enchantment! 

(Crosses to - .at vanity. Begins to 
dance about the room to music. Stella, 
standing in bathroom door, applauds, witch, 
standing in doorway, sings and sways to 
music, enjoying the impromptu completely.) 

Stanley 
(Declaring hand. ) 
Three bullets! You dirty greaser I 

Pablo 
Straight! I got you I 

(Stanley leaps up from poker game, rushes 
through curtains, begins pulling radio out 
of its socket. ) 

Blanc 
Stella! 



175 



Stella 
(Shouting at Stanley, rushes across to below 
him. ) 
Stanley I What are you doing to my radio? 

(He throws radio on floor. Stella clutching 
at him from behind. He says, "Get the hell 
out of my way!" Throws her off.) 
Drunk — drunk — animal thing, you! 

(Blanche opens drapes between rooms. Mitch 
cgues with Stanley about radio. Stella 
shes into living room, shoving at Steve, 
then crossing below table, pushing Pablo. 
Men rise, Stella returns upstage, pushes 
Steve. ) 

Steve 
Take it easy, Stella! 

(In bedroom, Stanley has stopped below 

hitch to tell him, "That's the last time you'll 

play the radio during my poker camel") 

Stella 
(Pushing Steve and Pablo over right.) 
All of you — please go home! If any one of you have one 
spark of decency in you — 

(Stanley hears rumpus in living room, and 
charges in. Steve stops him. Pushes 
Steve aside. ) 

Blanche 
(Crosses with Stanley left. ) 
Stella, watch out, he's ! 

(Stanley takes after Stella, who retreats 
behind door, up left. Hen quickly follow to 
pull him off. ) 

Steve 
Take it easy, Stanley. Easy, fellow 

Stella 
You lay, .your hands on me and I'll 

(Stanley follows Stella out. Sound of a blow 
struck behind door. Stella cries out. 
Blanche screams, clutches Mitch's arm, urging 



174 



him to help Stella. Mitch hurries into 
living room to aid in pulling Stanley off 
Stella. ) 

Blanche 

(Shrilly. To Mitch. She is at chair in 
bedroom, ) 

sister is going to have a baby I 

Mitch 
This is terrible 1 

Blanche 
(B.nc-'czzz below dressing table, stubs out 
cigarette in ash-tray.) 
Lunacy, absolute lunacy! 

Mitch 

Get him in here, men, 

(Pablo up. Each on arms of Stanley and 
sits him down in number three.) 

Stella 
(Staggering into doorway.) 

itch 
(Crossing center toward Blanche.) 
Poker shouldn't be played in a house with women. 

Blanche 
There are my sister's clothes! We'll go to that woman's 
upstairs! 

hitch 
(In bedroom. ) 
...ere is the clothes'; 

. he 
(Getting coat from closet.) 
I've got them! Stella, Stella, precious! Dear, dear 
little sister, don't be afraic I 

(Crosses to Stella, puts ccat on shoulders, 

rs Stella up spiral stair, murmuring 
"Did . rt you?" etc., consolingly. Mitch 
follows them to door. ) 

Hitch 
(Repeating. ) 

Poker should not be played in a house with women. 



175 



Stanley 
(At tabic, number three.) 
What's the matter? What happened? 

t Stanley to his feet, Steve is at 
j right, Pablo at his left* Mitch cones 
to right of group. ) 

Hitch 
What happened? I'll tell you what happened. You just 
blew your top, that's what happened! 

Pablo 
(Holding Stanley up.) 

He 1 s okay now. 

Steve 
(Holding Stanley up. ) 
Sure, my boy's okay! 

Mitch 
Put him on the bed and get a wet towel. 

Pablo 
I think coffee would do him more good now! 

Steve 
Let's get him some cold water! 

Mitch 

Put him under the shower and give him plenty of cold 

water! 

(Gives Steve a shove toward right. ,Men pull 
the struggling Stanley right toward bathroom, 
Mitch following nd pushing. Heard through 
curses and groans of the struggle. ) 

He shouldn't live with nice women! He don't deserve to! 

Ee don't know how to treat 'em! Put him under the 

shower I 

(Jaas band is heard. ;ien vanish into bathroom, 
pushing Stanley ahead of them. In bathroom, 
a terrific struggle, cries, oaths, a crash. 
Mitch emerges, shaking splahed water from his 
sleeves. Grossing through two rooms to 
front door. Sadly, firmly. ) 

Poker should not be played in a house with women. 

(Goes out, looks up spiral stair, exits up 
right. Pablo and ^tove hurry out before 
Stanley's violence. They gather up money 



'■" 



from table. ) 

Pablo 
(Taking up mon id coat from back of chair.) 
Let's get the noil out of hero! 



&' 



(Hushes out door, exits down right with a 
roan, Steve follows him out, starts u; 
iral stair. Eunice shouts from abc\ 
"Steve!" Steve i :"-s, "Oh-oh!" and hurries 
out down right. Lights in 
ming. S . ley, after a m< b, comes from 
bathroom. Flops on table, number three, moans* 
Looks about for Stella, moving uncertainly, 
through the rooms. Pauses by phone, 
s it up. Tries to recall a number. 
Finally dials. ) 

Stanley 
(Muttering into phone.) 

Eunice, is ay girl up there? I want my girl!. I'll keep 

on ringin 1 till 1 talk with my baby! 

(Slams phone back into place. Stanley stumbles 
out onto porch. Looks up spiral stair, throws 
back his head like a baying hound and bellows.) 

Stell-lahhhhh! 

nice 
(Above. ) 
You quit that howlin' down there an' go back to bed! 

an ley 
Eunice, I want my girl down here! 

Eunice 

She ain't comin 1 down, so you quit! Or you'll git the la,; 
on you! 

Stanley 
Stel-lahhl 

oe 
You can't beat on t woi ten call her backl She 
won't come, and her goin' to have a baby! 

;nice 
I hop y do haul you in and turn the fire hose on you 
the same as last time! 



177 



Stanley 
Eunice, I want my girl down here with me! 

"nice 
You stinker! You whelp of a Polack, you! 
(Slams door above.) 

Stanley 

(Hollers at bottbm of steps with hcaven- 

splitting violence. ) 
S23LL-A1 STELL 

(Stella comes down. uses near bottom step. 

Stanley falls to his 3 , ssing his fece 

into her belly. He ops. Rises, and takes 
r into his arms, turning onto porch. Ker 

feet are off the ground. As Stella kisses him 

passionately. ) 
Don't ever leave me • • . don't ever leave me • . .sweet* 
heart . . . baby 



o o * 



(Lights in rooms are out, except for a feeble 
glow through shattered fan-light, a glimmer 
through paper lantern, and a shaft from open 
door of bathroom. Stanley carries Stella to 
their bed. Blanche runs down spiral stair, 
looks into apartment, hesitantly enters, re- 
coils from what she ices, darts back to porch, 
closing door behind her. Looks about, dis- 
traught. Consi , going back upstairs. 
Turns to Stella* s door, finally leans against 
it with a troubled sigh. Mitch appears from 
up right. Sees Blanche. Comes to rail to 
right of spiral stair, leans towards Blanche. 
Fade off band. ) 

Blanche 
Where is my little sister? Stella— Stella! 



( On porch. ) 
Kiss DuBois . . . 



Oh! 



Mitch 



Blanche 



Mitch 
All quiet on the Potomac no\:\ 

Blanc 
She ran downstairs and went back in there with him. 



17- 

Mitch 

Sure she did. 

Blanche 
I'm torrified! 

• 

Mitch 
(Coming to left of Blanche.) 
i-e's nothing to be scared of. They're crazy about 

~ach other. 

Blanche 
I'm not used to such 

..itch 
(Crosses to beside her.) 
It's a shz:.~ this had to happen when you just got here. 
But don't take it serious. 

Blanche 

(Crosses down. ) 
Violence! Is so 

Mitch 
(Gestures toward steps.) 
Set down on the steps and have a cigarette with me. 
(Gets out case. ) 

Blanche 
I'm not properly dressed. 

itch 
(He sits on bottom pj Blanche, on top step.) 
That don't make no difference in the Quarter. 

Blanche 
Such a pretty silver case. 

Mitch 
i showed you the inscription, didn't IV 

Blanche 
Yes. 

(Pause. She looks at him. ) 
There's. so much confusion in the world. Thank you for 
b^ing so kind! I need kindness now. 

(Made out. Street cries cc oe, and are heard 
rough change. ) 



179 



Stella? 



;:C2 I 
Scone h 



(Early the following morning a the lights 

dim up. Stella is loun in armchair in 
bedroom, Blanche srs from Eunice's down 
steps. Rooms are still in disarray from poker 
game of night before, Stella's eyes and lips 
have that almost narcotized tranquillity that 
is in the faces of eastern idols. Blanche 
opens door, and hurries into apartment. 

Blanche 

(.Entering, ) 



Kmmh? 



Stella 
(Stirring lazily. ) 

(Blanche crosses to Stella in bedroom. ) 

Blanche 
Baby, my baby sister I 

Stella 
(Drawing away. ) 
3ianche 5 what is the matter with you? 

Blanche 
(Looking about.) 
He's lefts 

Stella 
Stan? Yes. 

Blanche 
Will he be back? 

Stella 
He's gone to get the car greased. Why? 

Blanc 
Whyl— Pve been half-crazy, Stella! len I found out 
^you'd been insane enough to come back in here after what 
jppenedJ — I started to rush in efter you. 






L»11 _ 

■ t. 

. . . 

.- 1J - -' — -. ) 

Pi - - .. v'. 

St 
Please s Blanche! Sit do .. .cop yelling, 

(Sits at vanity, ) 
...'--. j I will i :tion Jly 

.73 cc la3t 

. r ; ,/ 5 you !au3t have 

stoi: 

(Hises. ) 

I*c forgotten ' Le you ax , You're 
taak .30 such fuss about this* 

.la 
(Kneelic in chair, which faces *r, looking 
ror, ) 
s , you I ist have seemed 

ful ;orrj 

it. In 



t 



;. • • . .. . • i a as a I 

; ~ r »d of 

-■ If, 

fc — tha : s it all r 

i . 11 ! . Leh a terrible 

.... 

i our veddi 

ad rushed about 
place . ht-bulbs h it, 

. - 



181 



Stella 
(Arranging dressing table chair to face 
mirror. ) 
Ee smashed all the light- bulbs with the heel or my slipper I 

Blanc 
(Crossing to above >ssing table,) 
And you — you let him — you didn't run, you didn't scream? 

Stella 
I was sort of — thrilled by it. 
(Crosses to kitchen,, ) 
Eunice and you had breakfasts 

Blanche 
Do you suppose 1 wanted any ba fast? 

Stella 
There's some coffee left on the stove. 

Blanc 

(Crosses to doorway. ) 
You're so — matter of fact about it, Stella. 

St. 
.at other can I be? He's taken the radio to get it fixed. 
(Gurgles pie tly. ) 
It didn't hit too hard., so only one tube was smashed. 
(Blanche crosses to Stella at upstage table.) 

Blanche 
And. you are standing there smiling! 

Stella 

'..hat do you want me to do? 

Blanc. 
Pull yourself together and face the facts. 

Stella 
What are they, in your opinion? 

Blanche 

In my opinion? You're married to a madman. 

Stella 
No! 



is, yc s a are, your fix is worse than mine Is! Only you're 
not old I You can get out. 

Stell 

(Crosses to kitchen cabinet. ) 
I f m not in anything I want to get out of. 

Blanc] 

(Incredulously. ) 
What— Stella^ 

Stella 
I said I am not in anyt ve a desire to get out 
of. Look at the mess in this rood — And those empty bot- 
tles! 

(Si 3s in living room. Moves above and 
around :, picking up cards, and putting 
the:;: down. Blanche sits 0:1 trunk. ) 
They went through two cases last night I 

ht of table. ) 
He promised this morning he . ing to q L ring these 
po!:er parties, but you know how long such a promise is 
going to keep. 1, 'well, it's his pleasure, like mine is 
movies and bridge. People have got to tolerate each other's 
habits, 1 guess. 

Blanc] 
I don't understand you. 

11a ... -- pleasantly, moves up right 
for broom. ) 
I don't understand your indifference. Is this a Chinese 
philosophy you've — cultiva . .. ~'. 

(Crosses to Stella, stands below bed. ) 

Stella 
(Turning to ~ she, swaying broom idly in her 
hands, straw end in front of Blanche's face.) 
Is what — what? 

with if: Iculty as Stella whirls 

broom before her eyes.) 
.s — shi about ling — "One tube s.. a — 
beer bottl s in the kitchen!" — as if nothing out 
of bhe ordinar h d -nod. Are you deliberately 
shaking that thing in my fa- 



Stella 



No. 



185 



Blanche 
(Pushing broom aside, ) 
Stop it! Put is down! I won't have you cleaning up 
ter him! 

Stella 
Then who's Going to do it? Are you? 
(Hands broom to Blanche,) 

Blanche 
(Leaves broom by icebox, ) 
I ? I! 

(Crosses to left. Business used by Stella 
in tidying up t : oom may vary slightly? the 
example herein often holds true,} 

Stella 
No, I didn't think so, 

(Koves below table, starts gathering up cards,) 

Blanche 
(Crosses down left,) 
Oil, let me think, if only my mind would function! — V;e've 
got to get hold of some money, that's the way out! 

Stella 
I guess that money is always nice to get hold of, 

Blanc. 
Now listen to me, I have an idea of some kind. Do you 
remember Shep Huntleigh? 

Stella 
(Crosses behind table. Puts cards in drawer 
of table, ) 
No, 

(Kneels by table 9 gathers up bottles,) 

Blanche 

Of course you re:. _:untleigh. I went out with 
him at college and wore his pin for a while, -ell 

•j t.ej.ia 
Well? 

Blanc' 
1 ran into him last winter. You know I vent to Miami 
during the Christmas holidays? 



Stella 



No, 



Blanche 
11, I did, 1 tool: tho trip as en investment, thinking 
I'd meet someone vith a million dollars. 

Stella 
(Cleaning, Crosses to table. Takes bottles 
to kitchen cabinet. ) 
Did you? 

Blanche 

3, I ran into Shop Huntleigh I ran into him on 

Biscayne Boulevard on Christ ~:out dusk . . . get- 
into his car— — Cadillac convertible, must have been 
a block long! 

Stella 
(Places upper chair in original position.) 
I should think it would have been inconvenient in traffic 1 

Blanche 

(Airily. Crosses upstage.) 
You've heard of oll-vells? 

Stella 
(Pulls table to original position. Takes green 
baize off table — .. it under left arm. Re- 
places ash-* tray on table, ) 
Yes, remotely. 

Blanc 

He has them all over Texas. Texas is literally spouting 
gold in his pocket. 

Stella 
My, nyl 

Blanche 
(Crosses to tabic ) 
Y'knc indifferent I am to money, i think of money 
in : of vhat it does for you. But ho could do it, 
he could certainly do it! 

:ella 

Do vhat, Blanche? 

Blanche 
(Turning to Stella.) 
Why — cot ic up in a — shop! 



(At cabinet.) 
Izind of a shop? 



135 
itella 



Blanche 
(Crosses down left.) 
Oh, a — shop of some kind! — Ee could do it with half what 
his wife throws away at the races. 

Stella 

Oh, he 1 s married? 

Blanche 
(Turning back. ) 
Honey, would I be here if the man weren*t married, 

(Stella laughs a bit. Blanche darts to phone 
in bedroom.) 
> do I get Wes tern Unic 

(Shrilly, into phone.) 
Operator I Western Union! 

Stella 
(Making up bed. ) 
That's a dial phone, honey. 

Blanel 

(Sits in bedroom chair.) 
I can't dial, I'm too 

Stella 
Just dial "0." 

Blanche 

(Considers a moment, puts phone down, goes to 

dressing table, ) 
Give me a pencil. Where is a slip of paper? 

(Gets Kleenex and eyebrow pencil from dressing 

table. ) 
I've got to write it down first — the message, I mean ... 

(Uses plain table to write. Stella moves 

into bedroom. Blanche, writing.) 

Now then — let mo see ;, 13arling Shep. Sister and I in 

desperate situation." 

Stella 
I beg your pardon! 

Blanche 
(Thinking aloud.) 
"Sister and I in desperate situation. Will explain details 



. 



Would you be interested in — ? Would you be — in- 

b s d in • • . " 

(Crumples i :, clabs throat.) 
You nova? get anywhere with ._:*cct appeals! 

bella 
(Laughs. Crosses to chair.) 
Darling, don't be so ridiculous! 

BIj nche 
(Rises, crosses to vanity, tosses Kleenex into 

sket above di*es. cable, throws pencil 
onto dressing tj , Picks up purse on dressing 
>le. ) 
; I'll t ;, I've got to think of — some- 

Don' t, don't laugh at me, Stella! Please, please 
don't laugh at me — I want you to look at the contents of 
my purse 1 

(Opens purse, t out coins.) 
..-•e's what's in it! Sixty-five measly cents in coin of 
the realm! 

(flings coins on vanity. Crosses to left of 
ar ir, purse open on left arm. ) 

Stelli 

(Crosses to vanity, takes up folded currency. ) 
Stanley doesn't give me s i lar allowance, he likes to 
pay bills himself, but — t! morning he cave me ten 
,'s to smooth things . ... You take five of it, 
Blanche, and I'll keep the rest. 

(Thrusts a bill at Blanche.) 

Blanc. 
(Crosses downstage of Stella.) 
Oh, no. No, Stella! 

Stella 
(Insisting. ) 
I know how It -ale just having a little 

pocket-i on yo . 

(Melodramatically. Sits in chair.) 
No, thank you — I'll take to the streets! 

S ' la 
(Puts money : rse . ) 

Talk sen. i did you ha] n to get so low on funds? 
(Closes Blanche's e. ) 



137 



Blanche 
icy goes — it just goes places. 
(Rubs forehead.) 
Soma time today I've got to get hold of a Bromoi 

Stella 
I'll fix you one now. 

(Starts left towards bathroom, ) 

Bl: 

(Restraining her. ) 
Not yet — I've cot to keep thinking, 

Stella 
(Crosses to head of bod.) 
I wish you'd just let things go, at least for a — while . . . 

Blanche 

Stella, 1 can't live with him! l r cu can, he's your husband. 
How could I stay here with him after last night, with just 
these curtains between us? 

(Tugs at curtains between rooms. Crosses to 

Stella. ) 

Stella 
Blanche, you saw him at his worst last night. 

Blanche 
(Above armchair. ) 
On the contrary, I s his best I What such a man 
has to offer is animal force and he gave a wonderful ex- 
hibition of that!— But the only way to live with such 
a man is to — go to bed with him! And that's your job — 
not mine! 

Stella 
After you've rested a little, you'll see it's going to 
work out* You don't have to worry about anything while 

you J re here. I mean — . ... - ._~ , . . 



~ n ."* Vi fa 



(Crosses down stage*) 

Stella, I have a plan for us both to get us both out I 

Stella 
(SI - down on dressing table.) 

'..'ill you stop taking it for granted that I am in seme- 
thin;- I want to pet out of? 



JLoo 

It It for -ill have sufficient 

Dry of ve to find this place and these poker 
players . ?sible to live with* 
(Crosses to Stella. ) 

St 
(Sitting at vanity. ) 
Well, you're taking entirely too much for granted. 

I can't believe you're in earnest. 

Stella 
No? 

Blanche 
1 understand how it hap. . — a little. You saw him in 
uniform, an officer, not here but — 

Stella 
(Wiping picture with Kleenex.) 

I'm not sure it would have made any difference where I 
saw him. 

Bl 

Now don't toll me it was one of those mysterious electric 
things between people! — if you do, I'll laugh in your face. 

Stella 
(Violently thro per in basket.) 
I am not going to say anything more at all about it. 

Blanche 

(Crosses left. ) 
All r i ght , then , d on • 1 1 

.la 
hat happen between a man and a woman 
in th€ k— that sort of makes everything else seem — 
unimportant. 

Pause*) 

- (Crosse.. r.) 
t you a abou .ire — just — Desire t— 

3 of th.- - . - . fcr j- car that bangs through 
the Quarter, up one old narrow street and down another . . . 



139 



Stella 
Haven* t you ever ridden on the street-car? 

Blanc) 

It brought me here — where I 1 :?, not wanted and -.."..ere I'm 
ashamed to be. 

Stella 
Then don't you think your superior attitude is a bit out 
of place? 

Blanche 
(Crosses to Stella. } 
I am not being or . .ng at all superior, Stella. 
Believe me, I'm not I It's ju: his. This is how I look 
at it. A man like that is s ne to go cut with — once — 
twice — three ti a the devil is in you. But live 
with? Have a child by? 

Stella 
I have told you I love him. 

Blanche 
(Crosses to bed. ) 
Then I tremble for you! — I just-- tremble for you . . . 

Stella 
I can't help your trembling if you insist on trembling! 

(Pause. Sound; Whistle and roar of approaching 
train. ) 

Blanche 
(Above armchair. ) 
May I — speak — plainly? 

Stella 
Yes, do. Go ahead. As plainly as you want to. 

(They are silent as train roars past. Blanche 
stands bel ,e. hands to her ears, face 
turned to closet, s ;tlng out the racket. 
- Under cover of the train's noise, Stanley 
enters living room from down right. Carries 
a tin of oil, end is covered with grease. 
Stands inside door, near ice-box, unseen by 



) 



Blanche end Stella, but visible to audience, 
overhears the women's conversation.) 

Blanche 
(Moving down, left a bit, above Stella.) 
Well — if you'll forgive me — he's common I 

Stella 
Why, yes, I suppose ho is. 

Blanche 

Suppose! You can't have forgotten that much of our 
bringing up, Stella, that you just suppose that any part 
of a gentleman's in his nature I Not one particle, no! 
Oh, if ho was just ordinary 1 

(Stanley rises and listens. ) 
— Just — plain — but good and wholesome, but — No — . There's 
something downright — bestial — about him! — You're hating me 
saying this, aren't you? 

(Moves down lef t. ) 

Stella 
(Coldly.) 
Go on and say it all, Blanche. 

Blanche 

(Moves in left area. ) 
He acts like an animal, has an animal's habits I Efts 
like one, moves like one, talks like one! There's even 
something— sub-human — something not quite to the stage 
of humanity yet! Yet — something — ape-like about him, 
like one of those pictures I've seen in— -anthropological 
studies! 

(Crosses to Stella.) 
Thousands and thousands of years have passed him right by, 
and there he is — Stanley Kowalski — Survivor of the Stone 
Agel Bearing the raw meat home from the kill in the jungle! 
And you — you here — waiting for him! Maybe he'll strike 
you, or maybe grunt and kiss you! That is if kisses have 
been discovered yet! 

(Moves upstage. ) 

There in front 

maw- 




party of- apes! Somebody growls — some creature snatches at 
something — the fight is on! Cod! Maybe we are a long 
way from being made in God's image, but Stella — my 
sister — there has boon some progress since then! Such 
things as art — a3 poetry and music — such kinds of new light 



191 



have come into the world since then! In some kinds of 
people some tenderer feelings have had some little begin- 
ning J That we have to make growl And cling to, and hold 
as our flag I In this dark march toward whatever it is 
we're approaching . . . Don't — don't hang back with the 
brutes I 

(Stanley hesitaton, licking his lips. 
Slams shut front door, and opens ice-box. 
Blanche recoils.) 

Stanley 
Heyl Key, Stellal 

(Gets a beer from ice-box, opens it. Pause 
and lon£ look between the sisters. Stella 
kisses Blanche. ) 

Stella 
(Who has listened gravely to Blanche. Crosses 
in front of Blanche to kitchen. ) 
Yes, Stanley! 



Stella! 



Blanche 
(Whispering in agitation to Stella. ) 

(She attempts to restrain Stella, who gets up 
goes to door between rooms, opens curtains. 
Blanche can't be seen.) 

Stanley 
Hiyah, Stella. Blanche back? 

Stella 
Yes, she's back. 

(Blanche rises, moves to door between rooms, 
crowding close to pillar. ) 

Stanley 
Hiyuh, Blanche. 

(He has made a step or two center, and grins 
at Blanche. ) 

Stella 
(Looking straight at Stanley. Crosses behind 
.. him down left. ) 
Looks like you got under the car. 

Stanley 
Them darn mechanics at Fritz's don't know their can from 



)2 



third baso! 

(Takes drink from beer bottle. Slowly Stella 
moves belov Blanche tvoard Stanley. Then, 
with a quick little run, she is in hie arms. 
Stanley, as Stella throvs herself fiercely at 
him in full view of Blanche.) 
Hey! 

(He swings her up with his body. ) 



193 



ACT II 
Scene I 



(Gone weeks later. The scone is a point of 
balance between the play's two sections, 
Blanche's coming and the events leading up to 
her violent departure. The important values 
are the ones that characterize Blanche: its 
function is to give her dimension as a character 
and to suggest the intense inner life vhich 
makes her a person of greater magnitude than 
she appears on the surface. Music is heard as 
house lights dim. Fades off at rise. 

AT RIS2: Blanche is seated at table in living 
room, and has just completed writing a letter. 
Her purse is open on the table beside her. 
She bursts into a peal of laughter. Stella is 
seated on bed in bedroom, sewing on socks. 
She has sewing- box and three slips. Bed is 
turned down. ) 

Stella 
What are you laughing at, honey? 

Blanche 
Myself, myself for being such a liar I I'm writing a letter 
to Shep. 

(Picks up letter. ) 
"Darling Shop. I am spending the summer on the wing, 
making flying visits here and there. And who knows, per- 
haps I shall take a sudden notion to swoop down on Dallas! 
Eow would you feel about that? 

(Laughs nervously and brightly, touching her 
throat as if actually talking to Shep.) 
Forewarned is forearmed, as they sayl" — How does that sound? 



Uh-huh . . ♦ 



Stella 



Blanche 
(Continuing nervously. ) 
"Most of my sister's friends go north in the summer, but 
some have homes on the Gulf and there has been a continued 
round of entertainments, teas, cocktails, luncheons — " 

(A disturbance breaks out in apartment above. ) 



l f j 



Eunice 
(Offstage. ) 
I know about you and that blonde 1 

Steve 
That's a God-damned lio I 



' \ ~ — ^ 



Lunice 

You ain't pullin 1 the wool over my eyes! I wouldn't mind 
if you'd stay down at the Four Deuces it'd be all right I 
but you £0 up. 

(During fray above — on the line "I wouldn't 
mind," Stella says:) 

Stella 
Eunice seems to be having some trouble with Steve. 

Eunice 
(Above. ) 
I seen you! You were chasing her around the balcony 1 
I'm going to call the vice scuad. 

Steve 
(Above. ) 
Don't you throw that at me, you 1 

Eunice. 
(Above. ) 
That's for you! 

Steve 
(Above. ) 
How look at what you've done 

(Eunice, above, screams as though she had been 
kicked. ; 

Blanche 
Did he kill her? 

(Door slam above. Eunice starts downstairs.) 

Stella 
No. You couldn't kill her. 

Steve 
You come back here. 



.95 



Eunice 
I'm going to call the police. I'm going to call the police. 

(Coming downstairs, rubbing her backside, 
Stanley enters from down right. He carries 
package of laundry, wears his good suit. 
Enters apartment, throws laundry in living 
room on bed. ) 

Stanley 
What's the matter with Dun-uss? 

(He has jacket off, puts it on couch, opens 
laundry parcel. Steve starts down from 
above on the run. ) 

Stella 
She and Steve had a row. Has she got the police? 

Stanley 
Naw, she's gettin' a drink, 

Stella 
That's much more practical. 

Steve 
(Bursting into living room, shirt-tail flying.) 

She here? 

Stanley 
(Getting into a clean shirt.) 
At the Four Deuces. 

Steve 
That rut tin' hunk! 

(Dashes out down left, slamming door after him.) 

Blanche 

(Tucking Shep's letter into her purse, taking 

out small notebook. ) 
I must jot that down in my notebook. I'm compiling a 
notebook of quaint little words and phrases I've picked 
up here. 

Stanley 
(Crosses to bedroom. Standing above her, taking 
off jacket, putting it on bed, undoing fresh 
shirt. ) 
You won't pick up nothing here you ain't heard before. 



196 



Blanche 
Can I count on that? 

Stanley 
You can count on that up to five hundred, 

Blanche 

That's a mighty high number. 

(Stanley takes clean shirts to cabinet, opens 
lower drawer, tosses then in, kicks draver 
shut, wads up paper laundry was wrapped in, 
tosses it in corner. Blanche, who has winced 
slightly at the noise.) 

What sign ware you born under? 

Stanley 
(Putting on shirt. ) 
What sign? 

Blanche 
(Crosses to bedroom door.) 
Astrological sign. I bet you were born under Aries. 
Aries people are forceful and dynamic. They dote on 
noise! They love to bang things around. You must have 
had quite a lot of banging around in the army and now 
that you 1 re out, you make up for it by treating inanimate 
objects with such a fury I 

(Stanley has chosen a tie from among three 
hanging on a hook at left of cabinet. ) 

Stella 
Stanley was born just five minutes after Christmas. 

Blanche 
(Pointing knowingly at Stanley. Dabbing 
handkerchief with cologne. ) 
Capricorn — the Goat! 

Stanley 
(Buttoning shirt. Crosses down back of table.) 
What sign were you born under'. 

Blanche 
Oh, my birthday's next month, the fifteenth of September, 
that's under Virgo? 

Stanley 
What's Virgo? 



137 



Blanche 
Virgo is the Virgin. 

(Stella rises. ) 

Stanley 
(Contemptuously, with a look at Stella. 
Tucks in shirt. ) 



u 



lahl 

(Stella crosses to bureau with slips and 
sewing-box. Puts box on bureau, Moves 
close to Blanche, leans over her as he 
ties his tie. ) 

Say, do you happen to know somebody named Shaw? Huh? 

Blanche 
(Her face shows faint shock. ) 
Why, everybody knows somebody named Shaw. 
(Crosses to upstage table. ) 

Stanley 

(Leaning over table. Buttoning shirt. 

Crosses to kitchen for boen. Sits number 

four. ) 
Well, this somebody named Shaw is under the impression 
he met you in Laurel, but I figure he must have got you 
mixed u-p with some other party, because this other party 
is someone he met at a hotel called the Flamingo. 

Blanche 
(Laughing breathlessly as she touches cologne- 
dampened handkerchief to her temples.) 

I'm afraid he does have me mixed up with this "other 

party. " 

(Rises, moves below table, and leans against 
it, facing center. Carries purse on her arm.) 

The Hotel Flamingo is not the sort of place I would dare 

to be seen in! 

Stanley 
You know it? 

Blanche 
Yes, I've seen it and smelled it. 

(Stella re-appears, crosses to table number 
two. ) 



isa 



Stanley 
(Tyinc necktie. ) 
You must've cot pretty close if you could smell It. 

Blanche 
The odor of cheap perfume is penetrating 

Stanley 

(Sits number four. Taking her handkerchief.) 
That stuff you use is expensive? 

(Smells handkerchief. Tosses it back to her.) 

Blanche 
(Dropping handkerchief behind her onto 
table.) 
Twelve dollars an ounce! — I'm nearly out. That's just 
a hint in case you want to remember my birthday! 

(Speaks lightly, but her voice has a note of 
fear. Stella crosses to bed, adjusts counter- 
pane. ) 

Stanley 
I figured he must have got you mixed up — but he goes in 
and out of Laurel all the time so he can check on it and 
clear up any mistake. 

(Stella crosses to dressing table. Stanley 
crosses to doorway. Blanche closes her eyes 
as if to faint. Stanley crosses to daybed 
for jacket, calls into bedroom to Stella.) 
I'll see you at the Four Deuces! 

Stella 
(As Stanley starts out.) 
Heyi Don't I rate a kiss? 

(Stanley turns. Steve and Eunice start in from 
down left. ) 

Stanley 
Not in front of your sister. 

(Goes out. Stella crosses to bed for socks. 
Blanche, carrying her handkerchief, crosses 
upsts^e. On porch, Stanley meets Steve and 

.lice returning. Steve's arm is around 
Eunice | she is sobbing luxuriously, and he is 
cooing love words.) 



193 

Stevo 
(Softly.) 
You know I don't love those girls. 

Eunice 

(Sobbing. Also sotto voce.) 

I don't give a damn about those girls. 

(They start upstairs. Stanley gestures help- 
lessly, amused, after then. Stanley exits 
down right. Stella takes socks to cabinet — 
puts them in top drawer after Steve and Eunice 
have gone up. ) 

You just forget you said it. 

(Stella goes back to bureau in bedroom.) 

Steve 
I love you. You know I love you. I only do that with other 
girls because I love you. 

(As they start up stairs, a great clap of 
thunder is heard. Blanche starts visibly. ) 

Blanche 
(Running to Stella, holding purse in right 
hand. ) 
Stella! 

Stella 
Are you still frightened of thunder*? 

Blanche 
(Crosses to vanity. Faint, her expression 
almost one of panic.) 
What have you heard about me? 

Stella 
(At left of Blanche.) 
Euh? 

Blanche 
What have people been telling you about me? 

Stella 
Telling? 

Blanche 
You haven't hoard any — unkind — gossip about me? 



200 



Stella 
(Crossing to below cabinet in living room 
with socks. ) 
Why, no, Blanche, of course not! 

Blanche 
Honoy, there was quite a lot of talk in Laurel — 

Stella 

(At cabinet. ) 
People talk. Who cares? 

(Thunder.) 

Blanche 

(Rise3, follows Stella.) 
I haven't been so good "the last two years or so, after 
Belle Rove had started to slip through my fingers. I 
was never hard or self-sufficient enough. 

(Crosses down left.) 
Soft people, soft people have got to shimmer and glow. 
They've got to put on soft colors, the colors of butterfly 
wings and put a paper lantern over the light. But it isn't 
enough to be soft — you've cot to be soft and attractive — 
and I'm fading now. I don't know how much longer I can 
turn the trick. Have you been listening to me? 

(Looks back at Stella 

Stella 
(Dropping her eyes to avoid Blanche's gaze, 
crosses to kitchen, goes to ice-box, gets coke, 
opener and glass.) 
I never listen to you when you're being morbid. 
(Brings coke, glass, opener to table. 
Thunder. ) 

Blanche 
(Crosses downstage of Stella to number four. 
With abrupt change to gaiety.) 
Is that coke for me? 

Stella 
(Opening coke. ) 
Kot for anyone else! 

Blanche 
Why, you precious thing, you! Is it just coke? 



201 



Stella 
You moan you want a shot in it? 

Blanche 
Well, honey, a shot never did a coke any harm. 

(Stella puts down coke, starts for kitchen 

cabinet to get liquor, then crosses dovn back 

of table. ) 
Let me! 

(Crosses to Stella, leaving purse on left seat.) 
You mustn't v/ait on me! 

Stella 

(At cabinet, getting bottle of whiskey and glass.) 
I like to wait on you, Blanche. It makes it seem more 
like home. 

(Pours shot in glass.) 

Blanche 
(Touching her face with handkerchief, she 
crosses to bedroom bed and sits.) 
Well, I must admit I love to be waited on. 

Stella 
(Looks for Blanche, crosses to bedroom bed,) 
Blanche . . . honey— -what is it? 

Blanche 
You're — you're— so good to me! And I — 

Stella 
Blanche. 

Blanche 
I know, I -won't! You hate me to talk sentimental! But 
honey, believe me, I feel things more than I tell you! I 
won't stay long! I won't, I promise I — 

Stella 
Blanche 1 

Blanche 
(Hysterically. ) 
I won't - ; I promise, I'll go! Go soon! I will, really! — 
I won't hang around until he — throws me out! . . . 

(Laughs piercingly, grabs glass, but her hand 
shakes so it almost slips from her grasp.) 



202 



Stella 
(Commencing to pour coke into glass.) 
Now will you stop talking foolish? 

Blanche 
Yes. Now watch how you pour — 

(Takes bottle from Stella to do her own 

pouring, ) 
That fizzy stuff foams over! 

(Che pours. It foams over, spills. Utters a 

piercing cry, sinks to her knees in front of 

bed.) 

Stella 
(Shocked by Blanche's cry, tikes bottle from 
Blanche. Blanche jumps up, crosses to vanity.) 
Heavens! 

Blanche 
(Putting glass en phone table. Stella keeps 
coke bottle on floor above her. ) 
Sight on my pretty white skirt: 

(Kneels, surveys damage.) 

Stella 
Use your hanky. Blot gently. 

Blanche 
(Slowly recovering. ) 
I know. — Gently — gently. 

(Blots damp spot with handkerchief. ) 

Stella 
Did it stain? 

Blanche 
Not a bitl Ha-hal Isn't that lucky? 

Stella 
Why did you scream like that? 

(Stella crosses to Blanche.) 

Blanche 
I don't know why I screamed! 

(Continuing nervously, crosses down left.) 
ilitch — Mitch is coming at seven. I guess I am just 
feeling nervous about our relations. 



203 



(She speaks rapidly, breathlessly. ) 

He hasn't gotten a thing but a good-night kiss, that's all 
I have given him, Stella. I vant his respect. And men 
don't vant anything they get too easily. But on the other 
hand, men lose interest quickly. Especially vhen. the girl 
is over — thirty — They think a girl over thirty ought to — 
the vulgar expression is — "put out." . . . And I — I'm 
not "putting out." Of course, he — he doesn't know — I mean 
I haven't informed him — of my real age! 

Stella 
(Crosses to Blanche 
Why are you sensitive about your age? 

Blanche 

Because of the hard knocks my vanity's been given. What 
I mean is — he thinks I'm sort of — prim and proper, you 
know ! 

(Laughs sharply.) 
I vant to deceive him 3ust enough to make him — vant me . . 

Stella 
Blanche, do you vant him'; 

Blanche 
I want to rest! I vant to breathe quietly again! Yes — I 
vant Mitch. I vant him very badly! Just think! If it 
happens I 

(Crosses to bedroom chair and sits.) 
I can leave here and not be anyone's problem . . . 

(Stanley enters from down left with a drink 
under his belt. ) 

Stanley 
(Bawling out. ) 
Hey, Steve ! 



(Above.) 

Hey! 



Key, Eunice! 

(From above. ) 
Hiyah, honey! 



Steve 



Stanley 



Eunice 



204 



Stanley 
(Calling Into his apartment.) 



~dcy y Stellnl 
It vill happenl 

(Doubtfully. ) 

It will? 



Stella 

Blanche 



Stella 

It will! It will, honey, it villi ! 

(Crosses to Blanche. Kisses her head.) 

But don't take another drink . . . 

(Starts for door. Eunice races down stairs, 
bellowing, "Come on, lover boy. Come on," 
and shouting with laughter, Steve in hot pur- 
suit. Stanley clears for their descent. Ha 
clutches at Eunice, who eludes him with shrieks, 
runs out down left. Grabs Steve, holds him. 
Steve shrieks: :, I-jy! Let got", and they 
struggle playfully. Stanley is thrown to steps. 
Stovo runs out down left after Eunice, calling, 
"Hey, come back hero, you little sweet patootie!" 
Stella comes onto porch. Stanley grabs at her. ) 

Stanley 
Hiyah, fatty! 

(Stella shrugs free, says, "Ah — let no go," 
and coolly goes out down left. Stanley, be- 
wildered, looks after her. Then turns and 
looks back toward apartment, thinking of 
Blanche and her effect on his life. Soberly, 
he goes out down left. Sound of chimes off- 
stage. Blanche stretches and fans herself 
idly with a palm-leaf fan she has found lying 
to right of armchair on floor. ) 

Elanche 
Ah, me . . . ah, me . . . ah, me . . . 

(Young collector enters from down left, starts 
upstage, chocks number on Stanley's apartment, 
rings bell. ) 



Come in/" 



(The light has grown dim. Collector enters 
a stop. Blanche rises, comes to door botween 
rooms. Carries her drink.) 



205 



Collector 
Good evening, ma'am. 

(Chimes fade away.) 

Blanche 
Well, well! What can I do for you! 

Collector 
(Above table in livinr room. ) 
I'm collecting for the Bvenin? Sts.r « 

Blanche 
(Crosses to him. ) 
I didn't know that stars took up collections. 

Collector 
It's the paper, ma'am. 

Blanche 
I know, I was joking — feebly! Will you — have a drink? 
(Crosses to kitchen cabinet.) 

Collector 
No, ma'am. No, thanks. I can't drink on the job. 

Blanche 

(Puts her drink down behind left seat, goes 

to left seat, tskes up purse, looks in it. 

Puts handkerchief in purse. ) 
Well, now, let me see. . . . No, I haven't got a dime! 
I'm not the lady of the house. I'm her sister from 
Mississippi. I'm one of those poor relations you've 
heard tell about. 

(Crosses to chair for cigarette and holder.) 

Collector 
That's all right, ma'am. I'll drop by later. 
(Starts to go.) 

Blanche 
(Restraining him, a step forward.) 

Hey I 

(He turns. She puts cigarette into holder.) 

Could you give me a light? 

Collector 
Sure. 



206 



(Takes out lighter, crosses to Blanche.) 
This doesn't always work. 

(He tries lighter unsuccessfully. ) 

Blanche 
It's temperamental? 

(It flares, she sets her light, touching his 

hand , ) 
Ah I Thank you. 

Collector 
(Starts away.) 
Thank youl 

Blanche 
(Pauses almost at door.) 
What time is it? 

Collector 
(Consulting wrist watch. Crosses in above 
table to center. ) 
Fifteen of seven, ma'am. 

Blanche 

(Crosses to him, facing him.) 
So late.? Don't you just love these long rainy afternoons 
in New urleans wheu. an hour isn't just an hour — but a 
little bit of eternity dropped in your hands — and who 
knows what to do with it? 

(Crosses to him. Touching his shoulders.) 
You — uh — didn't get wet in the rain? 

Collector 
No, ma'am. I stepped inside. 

Blanche 
In a drug-store? And had a soda? 

Collector 

Uh-huh. 

Blanche 
Chocolate? 

Collector 
No, ma'am. Cherry. 



(Laughs.) 
Cherry! 



207 

Blanche 



Collector 
A cherry soda. 

Blanche 
You make my mouth water. 

(Crosses in front of him pivoting. Touches 
his cheek lightly and smiles.) 

Collector 
(Starts to door. ) 
Well, I'd better bo going — 

Blanche 

(Stopping him. ) 
Young man I 

(He turns. Kb t ions toward him.) 
Young, young, young, young — man I lias anyone ever told you 
that you look like a young prince out of the Arabian Nights? 

Collector 

No, ma'am. 

(Looks away. ) 

Blanche 

Well, you do, honey lamb. Come herel Come on over here 

like I told you! 

(Gripping his arms, looking into his face, her 
expression one of almost ineffable sweetness.) 

I want to kiss you — just once — softly and sweetly on your 

mouth ... 

(She does. ) 

Run along now! It would be nice to keep you, but I've got 

to be good and keep my hands off children. 

(He goes, rather dazed, to door. Faintly, 
waving after him. She crosses a step after 
him.) 



Adiosl 



Huh? 



Collector 
(On porch, looking back.) 

(She waves again. He waves back and goes out 
down left like a child who has had a happy 
dream. Blanche stands in doorway. Mitch 
appears from up right, carrying an absurd 



200 



littlo bunch of f lovers.) 

Blanche 
(Crosses to doorvay. Gaily.) 
Look vho's coming I My Rosenkavalierl 

(Stiffly, he meets her on porch and offers 

flovers. ) 
No. Bov to me first I 

(Mitch is embarrassed, shakes head. She is 

adamant. He looks around to see if anyone 

is watching, then ducks a quick little bov, 

flovers extended to Blanche. ) 
Nov present them! 

(He does, 3he curtseys lov. ) 
Ahhhl Merciiii! 



(?pde out and curtain. Jazz band plays 
through change. ) 



209 



ACT II 

Scene 2 

(Later. About 2 A. M. Music fades avay at 
rise. Blanche and Mitch enter. Blanche 
carries hat, purse and flowers. Mitch holds 
a ridiculous doll he has von somewhere. The 
utter exhaustion which only a neurasthenic 
personality can know is evident in Blanche's 
voice and manner. Mitch is stolid but de- 
pressed. They conic around on porch, Blanche 
to a position below closed door.) 

Blanche 



Well 



Mitch 
Well ... I guess it must be pretty late — and you're 

tired. 

Blanche 
How will you get home? 

Mitch 
(Moves off step to left of Blanche.) 
I'll walk over to Bourbon and catch an owl-car. 

Blanche 
(Laughing grimly. ) 
Is that street-car named Desire still grinding along 
the tracks at this hour? 

Mitch 
(Heavily. ) 

I'm afraid you haven't had much fun out of this evening, 
Blanche. 

Blanche 
I spoiled it for you. 

Mitch' 
No, you .didn't, but I felt all the time that I wasn't 
giving you much — entertainment. 

Blanche 
I simply couldn't rise to the occasion. That was all. 



210 



(Turns down loft on porch.) 
I don't think I've ever tried go hard to ba gay and 
made such a dismal moss of it, ' 

Mitch 
Why did you try if you didn't feel like it, Blanche? 

Blanche 
(Looks in purse. ) 
I was just obeying the law of nature. 

Mitch 
Which law is that? 

Blanche 

(Crosses down.) 
The one that says the lady must entertain the gentleman — 
or no dice! See if you can locate my door- key in this 
purse. 

(Hands him her purse. ) 
When I'm so tired my fingers are all thumbs. 

Mitch 
(Rooting in purse, comes up with a key. ) 
This it? 

Blanche 
(Sits on step. ) 
No, honey — that's the key to my trunk which I must soon 
be packing. 

Mitch 
You mean you are leaving pretty soon now? 

Blanche 
(Looks at stars.) 
I've outstayed my welcome. 

Mitch 
(Who has found another key. ) 
This it? 

Blanche 

EurekaT Eoney, you open the door while I take a last 

look at the sky. 

(Blanche stares up at the stars. Mitch 
unlocks door, puts key back into Blanche's 
purse, stands awkwardly, a bit behind hor. ) 



211 



I'm looking for the Pleiades, the Seven Sisters, but 
these girls are not out tonight, 

(Spies them. ) 
Oh, yes, they are, there they are! God bless them! All 
in a bunch going homo from their little bridge party . • . 

(Turns to Mitch. ) 
Y'get the door open? Good boy* 

(Moves up to his left just below door. Takes 

purse. ) 
Well, I guess you — vant to go now • . • 

Mitch 
(At hor right. ) 
Can I — uh — kiss you — goodnight? 

Blanche 
(Crossly. ) 

Ivhy do you always ask me if you may? 

Mitch 
I don't know whether you want me to or not. 

Blanche 
Why should you be so doubtful? 

Mitch 
That night when we parked by the lake and I kissed you, 
you — 

Blanche 
(Crosses down left.) 
Honey, it wasn't the kiss I objected to. I liked the 
kiss very much. It was the other little — familiarity — 
that 1 — felt obliged to— discourage. I didn't resent 
it I Not a bit in the world! In fact I was somewhat 
flattered that you — desired me! But, honey, you know 
as well as I do that a single girl, a girl alone in the 
world, has got to keep a firm hold on her emotions, or 
she'll be lost! 

Mitch 
(Crosses down to Blanche. Solemnly.) 
Lost? 

Blanche 
(Turning away a step down left.) 
I guess you are used to girls that like to be lost. The 
kind that get lost immediately on the first date. 



212 



Mitch 

(A step after her. ) 
I like you to be exactly the way that you are, because 
in oil my — experience — I have never known anyone like 
you. 

(Blanche looks at him gravely, then bursts into 

laughter, buries her head against his upstage 

shoulder, ) 
— Are you laughing at me? 

Blanche 

(Patting his cheek.) 

No, no, no, honey. No — I'm not laughing at you — 
(She goes into apartment, he follows 
to behind number two.) 

The lord and lady of the house have not yet returned, so 

come in. 

(Drops hat, purse, gloves and flowers on 
table. ) 

We'll have a night-cap. Let's leave the lights off, 

shall we'? 

(Mitch closes front door. Crosses to bed- 
room. Blanche crosses to kitchen. ) 

The other room's more comfortable ... go on in. 
(He does. Sits in bedroom chair.) 

This crashing around in the dark is my search for some 

liquor. 

Mitch 
You want a drink? 

Bl anche 

(Taking glasses to him, and shoving him even 

further into bedroom. ) 
I want you to have a drink! You have been so anxious 
and solemn all evening, and so have I, we have both been 
anxious and solemn and now for these few last remaining 
moments of our lives together — 

(Grosses to kitchen for bottle and drinks. 

She is at cabinet, lighting a match. ) 
I want to create — joie de vivre! 

(Applies match to candle stuck in bottle, 

which she gets from cabinet. Brings candle 

to phone table. Draws vanity stool to Mitch 

and sits.) 
I'm lighting a candle. 

Mitch 
That's good. 



213 



Blanche 
We are going to be very bohcniian. We are going to pre- 
tend that this is a little artists 1 cafe on the Left 
Bank in Paris I Je suis la Dame aux CameliasI Vous 
etes — Armend! Do you understand French? 

Mitch 
Naw. Naw, I don't understand French. 

Blanche 
(Coming towards him. ) 
Voulez-vous couchez avec moi ce soir? Vous ne comprenez 
pas? All! Quel dommagel I mean, it's a damned good 
thing I've found some liquor, just enough for two shots 
without any dividends • • . 

Mitch 

That's— good! 

Blanche 
Sit down! Why don't you take off your coat and loosen 
your collar? 

(Takes off his coat.) 

Mitch 
I'd better leave it on. 

Blanche 
No. I want you to be comfortable. 
(Puts coat on bed.) 

Mitch 

(Sits in armchair.) 
No — I am ashamed of the way I perspire. My shirt is 
sticking to me. 

Blanche 
Perspiration is healthy. If people didn't perspire 
they would die in five minutes. This is a nice coat. 
What kind of material is it? 

Mitch 
They call that stuff Alpaca. 
(Crosses right. ) 

Blanche 
Oh, Alpaca. 



214 



Mitch 
It's very light-weight alpacr.. 

Blanche 
Light-weight alpaca. 

Mitch 
I don't like to wear a wash coat even in summer because 
I sweat right through it. 

Blanche 
Oh. 

(Crosses to Mitch center stage.) 

Mitch 
And it don't look neat on me. A man with a heavy build 
has got to be careful of what he puts on him so he don't 
look too clumsy. 

Blanche 
You're not too heavy 

Mitch 
You don't think I am? 

Blanche 
You are not the delicate type. You have a massive bone- 
structure and a very imposing physique. 

Mitch 
(Turns to Blanche. ) 
I thank you. Last Christmas I was given a membership in 
the New Orleans Athletic Club. 

Blanche 
Oh, good. 

Mitch 
It was the finest present I ever was given. I work out 
there with the weights. And I swim and I keep myself 
fit. When I started there I was soft in the belly, but 
now my belly is hard. It is so hard that a man can 
punch me in the belly and it don't hurt me. Punch mol 
C-o on! 

Blanche 
(Punching him gently in belly, then laying 
her hand against him.) 
Gracious! 



215 



Can you guess my weight? Come on — guess. Co ahead — 

lift me! 

(Mitch lifts her, whirls her around him 
down stage. She is nov; facing right.) 

Hitch 
(Holding her up. ) 
You are light as a feather. 

Blanche 
(He lowers her, but keeps hands on her 
waist. She affects demureness.) 
You may release me now. 

Mitch 
Huh? 

Blanche 
(Gaily.) 
I said, unhand me, sir. 

(Mitch tries to kiss her, fumblingly em- 
bracing her. ) 
How, Mitch. Just because Stanley and Stella aren't at 
home is no reason why you shouldn't behave like a gent- 
leman. 

Mitch 
(Holding her close.) 
Just give me a slap whenever I step out of bounds. 

Blanche 
(Trying to get free.) 
That won't be necessary. You're a natural gentleman, 
one of the very few that are left in the world. I 
don't want you to think that I am severe and old-maid 
school- teacherish or anything like that. It's just — 
well— I guess it is just that I have— old fashioned ideals! 

Mitch 

(Piano is heard. Mitch releases her. She 
crosses to chair and sits. Eis voice 
breaking. ) 
Where's Stanley and Stella tonight? 

Blanche 
They have gone out. With Mr. and Mrs, Hubbell upstairs. 

Mitch 
Where did they go? 



216 



Blanche 
I think they were planning to go to a midnight provue at 
Loew'S State. 

Mitch 
(Crosses to behind stool.) 
should all go out together so::e night. 

Blanche 
No. Ho, that wouldn't be a good idea. 

Mitch 
Why not? 

Blanche 
You are an old friend of Stanley's? 

Hitch 
(l&ith a trace of bitterness.) 
We was together in the Two-forty- first, 

Blanche 
I guess he talks to you frankly? 

Mitch 
(Sits on stool. ) 

Sure . 

Blanche 
Has he talked to you about me? 

Mitch 

Not very much. 

(Fade out piano. ) 

Blanche 
The way you say that, I suspect that he has. 

Mitch 
No, he hasn't said much. 

Blanche 
But what he has said? What would you say his attitude 
toward me was? 

Mitch 
wJhat makes you ask that? 



217 



Blanche 
Woll— 

Mitch 
Don't you get along with him? 

Blanche 
What do you think? 

Mitch 
I think he don't understand you. 

Blanche 
(Rises, crosses behind on right.) 
That is putting it mildly, if it weren't for Stella 
about to have a baby, I wouldn't be able to endure 
things here. 

Mitch 

He isn't— nice to you? 

Blanche 

He's insufferably rude. Goes out of his way to offend 

me* 

Hitch 
In what way, Blanche? 

Blanche 
Why, in every conceivable way. 

Mitch 
I'm surprised to hear that. 

(Turns away from her.) 

Blanche 
Are you? 

Mitch 
(Facing her. ) 
Well, I— don't see how anybody could be rude to you. 

Blanche 
It's really a pretty frightful situation. You see, 
there's no privacy hero. There's just this drape between 
the two rooms. Eo stalks through the rooms in his under- 



213 



•wecr at night. And I have to ask him to close the ■ 
bathroom door. That sort of commonness isn't necessary* 
You probably wonder why I don't novo ouf: Well, I'll 
tell you frankly. A school teacher's salary is barely 
sufficient for her living expenses, I didn't save a 
penny last year, and so I had to conic here for the sum- 
That f s why I have to put up with my sister's hus- 
band. And he has to put up with me, apparently so much 
against his wishes . . . Surely he must have told you 
how much he hates me I 

Mitch 
I don't think he hates you. 

Blanche 
(Crosses left.) 
He hates me, or why does he insult me? The first time I 
laid eyes on him, I thought to myself, that man is my 
executioner 1 That man will destroy me! — unless — 

Mitch 

Blanche . . . Blanche — 

Blanche 
Yes, honey? 

Mitch 

Can I ask you a question? 

Blanche 
Yes. What? 

Mitch 
How old are you? 

Blanche 
(Makes nervous gesture. Crosses right to 
vanity. ) 
Why do you want to know? 

Mitch 

(Ho follows.) 
I talked to my mother about you, and she said, Eow old 
is 31anche? 

* (Pause.) 

Blanche 
You talked to your mother about mo? 



219 



Mitch 

Yes. 

Blanche 
Why? 

Hitch 
Because I told her how nice you were, and I liked you. 

Blanche 
Were you sincere about that? 

Mitch 
You know I was. 

Blanche 
Why did your mother want to know my age? 



Mitch 



Mother is sick. 



Blanche 
I'm sorry to hear it. Badly? 

Mitch 

(Crosses upstage to chair and sits.) 
She won't live long. Maybe just a few months, and 
she worries because I'm not settled. She wants me to be 
settled down before she — 

(His voice is hoarse with emotion. Looks away 

from Blanche. ) 

Blanche 
You love her very much, don't you? 

(Crosses upstage to Mitch at chair. Mitch 

nods miserably. ) 
I think you have a great capacity for devotion. You'll 
be lonely when she passes on. 

(Mitch looks at her, nods.) 
I understand what that is. 

Mitch 

To be lonely? 

Blanche 
I loved someone, too, and the person I loved I lost. 
(Crosses right center.) 



220 



Mitch 

lead? A man? 

Blanche 

He was a boy, just a boy, when I was a very young girl, 
rx I was sixteen, I made the discovery — love. All at 
once and much, much too completely. It was like you 
suddenly turned a blinding light on something that had 
always been half in shadow, that's how it struck the 
world for me* But I was unlucky. Deluded. There was 
something different about the boy, a nervousness, a 
softness, tenderness which wasn't like a man's although 
he wasn't the least bit effeminate looking — still — that 
thing was there. . . . 

(Crosses to vanity.) 
He came to me for help. I didn't know that. I didn't 
find out anything till after cur marriage when we'd run 
away and come back and all I knew was I'd failed him in 
seme mysterious way and wasn't able to give him the help 
he needed but couldn't speak of! He was in the quick- 
sands clutching at me — but I wasn't holding him out, I 
was slipping in with him! I didn't know that. I didn't 
know anything except I loved him unendurably but without 
being able to help him or help myself. Then I found out. 
In the worst of all possible ways. By suddenly coming 
into a room that I thought was empty — which wasn't empty, 
but had two people in it . . . the boy I married and an 
older man who had been his friend for years. 

(Breaks away, rises, goes upstage. Turns 

three-fourths right at upper onstage side 

of table.) 
Afterwards we pretended that nothing had been discovered. 
Yes, we all drove out to Moon Lake Casino, very drunk 
and laughing all the way. We danced the Varsouviana 1 

("Varsouviana" is heard, fades.) 
Suddenly, in the middle of the dance, the boy I had 
married broke away from mo and ran out of the Casino. 
A few moments later — a shot! I ran out, all did! — all 
ran and gathered around this terrible thing at the edge 
of the lake: I couldn't get near for the crowding. Then 
somebody caught my arm. — "Don't go any closer! Come 
back! You don't want to see!" See? £oc what? Then I 
hoard voices say, "Allan! Allan! The Gray boy!" He'd 
stuck a revolver into his mouth and fired! — so that the 
back of^his head had been — blown away! 

(Sways, covers her face. "Varsouviana" 

heard again. ) 



221 



It vas because, on the dance floor — unable to stop my- 
self — I'd suddenly said — "I know! I sawl You disgust 
meI M And thon the searchlight which had been turned on 
the world was turned off again and never for one rr.or.cnt 
since has there been any lifht stronger than this kit- 
chen candle • * . 

(Crosses to stool and sits, Mitch rises, 
goes to her, stands behind her.) 

latch 

You need somebody. And I need somebody, too. Could 
it be you and me, Blanche? 

(She turns to him. Looks at him. They 
embrace, kiss. Cut "Varsouviana" sharply.) 

Blanche 
Sometimes — there's God— so quickly! 



(Fadeout and house curtain, ) 



222 



ACT III 

Scene 1 

(Lights come up slowly. Some weeks later. 
The rooms have been made pathetically dainty 
with some of Blanche's bits of finery, pillows, 
fan slipcovers, etc. 

anley starts across up left to down right, 
the porch area. As he crosses, lights come 
up in apartment. Stella is hovering over 
table in living room, which is set for four, 
decorated with party favors, colored napkins. 
Her approaching maternity is more evident than 
earlier in the play. At rise she brines 
birthday cake from cabinet, puts it at center 
of table, then goes to cabinet, gets knives, 
forks and spoons, starts placing them around 
table, beginning with upstage place and work- 
ing to right side, below, then to left place, 
during opening dialogue of scene. Blanche 
is in bathroom, where she is singing scraps 
of a sad blues song. Blanche's trunk is 
closed and covered with a net drapery. 
Stanley enters apartment, puts lunch-pail on 
top of ice-box, surveys party set-up. ) 



Stanley 

(Above tabic ) 
What's all this stuff for? 

Stella 
(Gets silver. ) 
Honey, it's Blanche's birthday. 

Stanley 
e's here? 

Stella 
(Laying silver. ) 

In the bathroom. 



Stanley 
(Mimicking.) 
"Washing out some things"? 



223 



(Blanche sings in bathroom. ) 
Stella 



I reckon so. 



Stanley 



Hoy; long she been in there? 

Stella 
(Below table. ) 
All afternoon. 

Stanley 
(Mimicking, ) 

"Soaking in a hot tub"? 

Stella 
(Unperturbed. ) 
Yes. 

(Blanche stops singing.) 

Stanley 
Temperature 100 on the nose, and she soaks in a hot tub I 

Stella 
She says it cools her off for the evening. 

Stanley 
And you run out an' get her cokes, I suppose? And serve 
•em to Her Majesty in the tub? 

(Stella shrugs, occupied with table. 

Stanley behind number three. ) 
Set down here. 

(Indicates chair left of table.) 

Stella 
(Left side of table.) 
Stanley, I've got things to do. 

Stanley 

(Above table. ) 
Set down I 

(Stella crosses to behind left chair. ) 
I've got th' dope on your big sister, Stella. 

Stella 
(Coming to his left.) 
Stanley, stop picking on Blanche. 



224 



Stanley 
(Foot on chair, ) 
That girl calls mo common I 

Stella 
(Moving to left of Stanley above tablo.) 
Lately you been doing all you can think of to rub her 

y, Stanley, Blanche is sensitive. You've 
got to realize that Blanche and I grew up under very 
different circumstances than you did. 

Stanley 
So I been told. And told and told and told I You know 
she's been feeding us a pack of lies here? 

Stella 
No, I don't — and I don't want to hear — 

Stanley 
(Overlapping Stella's speech.) 
Well, she has, however. But now the cat's out of the 
bag! I found out some things! 

Stella 
What — things? 

Stanley 
Things I already suspected. 

(Blanche sings in bathroom. ) 
But now I got proof from the most reliable sources — 
which I have checked on I 

(Bathroom door opens, Blanche pops out in 
her bathrobe. Goes to dressing table, picks 
up a drink with ice-cubes, waves to Stanley 
in other room. ) 

Blanche 
Hello, Stanleyl 

(Gaily, she hums, clinks ice in her glass, 
goes into bathroom, shuts door. Stella 
backs upstage — looks at Blanche.) 

Stanley 

(Sitting above table.) 
— So.r.e canary bird, huh? 



225 



Stella 
(Coming back to table, sits left chair.) 
Now please tell me quietly vhat you think you've found 
out about my sister. 

Stanley 
Lie number 02: All this squeamishness she puts on! — 
you should just know the line she's been feeding to 
Mitch. He thought she had never been more than kissed 
by a follow! You know Sister Blanche is no lily! 

Stella 
What have you heard, and who from? 

Stanley 
Our supply-man down at the plant has been going through 
Laurel for years and he knows all about her, and every- 
body else in the town of Laurel knows all about her 5 she 
is as famous in Laurel as if she was the President — of 
the United States — 

(Blanche sings blues song in bathroom. ) 
— only she is not respected by any partyl This supply- 
man stops at a hotel called the Flamingo. 

Stella 
What about the — Flamingo? 

Stanley 
She stayed there, too. 

Stella 
My sister stayed at Bell© Heve. 

Stanley 
This is after the home place had slipped through her lily- 
white fingers I Sho moved to the Flamingo! A second-class 
hotel which has the advantage of not interfering with 
the private social life of the personalities there! The 
Flamingo's used to all kinds of goings-on. But ever, the 
management of the Flamingo was impressed by Dame Blanche 1 
in fact they was so impressed that they requested her to 
turn in her room-key — for permanently! This happened a 
couple of weeks before she showed here. 

(Stanley rises, moves through center to right 
^ of Stella.) 
Sure, I can see how you would be upset by this. She pulled 
the wool over your eyes as much as Mitch's. 

(Tries to put an arm around her, she shrugs 



21:: 



him off. ) 

Stella 
(Turning to him, ) 
It's pure invention! There's not a word of truth in it I 

(Blanche sings in bathroom, Stanley takes 

her by the arms, faces her. Blanche is singing.) 

Stanley 
Honey, I told ycu I checked on every single story. The 
trouble with Dame Blanche was that she couldn't put on 
nor act any more in Laurel! 

(Blanche stops singing. ) 
±l->?.y got wised up after two or three dates with her and 
they quit, and she coes on to another, the same old line, 
same old act, same old hooey 1 

( Turns back. ) 
But the town was too small for this to £0 on forever 1 And 
as time went by she became the town character. Hazarded 
as not 3ust different but downright loco — nuts. 

(Blanche sings. Stella moves to down right 

chair below table, she faces down right. 

Stanley moves up to position behind Stella, 

then downstage to table right. ) 
And for the last year or two she has been washed up like 
poison. That's why she's here this summer, visiting 
royalty, putting on all this act — she was practically told 
by the Mayor to get out of town! Yes, did you know there 
was an army-camp near Laurel and your sister's was one of 
the places called "Out- of -Bounds"? 

(Crosses to Stella. Blanche stops. ) 
Well, so much for her being such a refined and particu- 
lar type of girl. Which brings us to Lie number two. 

Stella 
(A step toward him. Closing left in.) 
I don't want to hear any morel 

Stanley 
(Crosses to number three, foot on chair.) 
didn't resign temporarily because of her nerves! No, 
siree, bobl She didn't. le was kicked out before the 
Spring term ended — - hate to tell you the reason that 

2p was taken — A seventeen-year-old boy — she's gotten 
mixed up withl . when . . . 

(Blanche is heard still singing in bathroom. ) 



227 



Stella 
(Crosses to chair number two, head in hands. ) 
This is making me — sick I 

Stanley 

(l-ioving above table to cabinet and back to 

above table. ) 
. . . the boy's dad learned about it and got in touch with 
the high school superintendent. Oh, I'd like to have been 
in that office vhen Dame Blanche "was called on the carpet! 

(Crosses down left. ) 
I'd like to have zezn. her trying to squirm out of that 
one I But they had her hooked rood and proper that time 
and she knew that the 3ig vas all up! They told her she 
bettor move on to some fresh territory, it "was prac- 
tickly a town ordinance passed against her! 

(Blanche stops. Bathroom door opens, Blanche 
thrusts her head out, holding a bath towel 
about her hair. ) 



Stella! 



Blanche 
(In doorway.) 



Stella 
(Pases. Faintly.) 
Yes, Blanche? 

Blanche 
Get me another bath towel to dry my hair with. I've 
3u3t washed it! 

Stella 
Yes, Blanche. 

(Crosses to bedroom, gets towel from bureau, 
up left, takes it in a dazed way to Blanche.) 

Blanche 
VJhat's the matter, honey? 

Stella 
(Turning away. ) 
Matter? Why? 

Blanche 
You have such a strange expression on your face. 



223 



Stella 

Oh! 

(Tries to laugh. ) 
I guess I'm a little tired. 

Blanche 
Why don't you take a hot bath as soon as I get out? 

(Stella goes to below head of bed — hand 
to her back. ) 

Stanley 
(Crosses down right.; 
How soon is that going to be, Blanche? 

Blanche 
(Waving clean towel at him, blithely.) 
Not so terribly long i Possess your soul in patience! 
(Starts into bathroom — stops as he speaks.) 

Stanley 
It's not my soul, it's my kidneys I'm worried about! 

(Crosses upstage, table to trunk. Blanche 
slams door shut. Stella comes back into 
living room 5 crosses up to number three. 
Stanley leans against trunk. 
Well, what do you think of it? 

Stella 

(Turns to Stanley. Stanley crosses number 

two. ) 
I don't believe all of thos e ries, and I think your 
supply-man was mean and rotten to tell them. Oh, it's 
possible that some of the things he said are partly 
true. My sister was always — flighty I 

Stnaley 

(Sits number two. ) 
Yeah— flighty! 

Stella 
^ut when she was young, very young — 

(Dabs at plac-a^- and decorations, not seeing 

them. Behind table. ) 
She married a boy who wrote poetry. ... He was extremely 



229 



good-looking. I think Blanche didn't just love him but 
worshipped the ground he walked on! Adored him and 
thought him almost too fine to be hunianl 

(Crosses to kitchen, gets small box of pink 

birthday cake candles, ) 
But then she found out — 

Stanley 

What? 

Stella 

(Bringing candles to table. ) 
This beautiful and talented young man was a degenerate. 
Didn't your supply man give you that information? 

(Opens box of candies.) 

Stanloy 
All we discussed was recent history. That must have 
been a pretty long time ago. 

Stella 
Yes, it was — a pretty long time ago . . . 

(Starts sticking candles on birthday cake. 
Pause. ) 

Stanley 
How many candles you stickin 1 in that cake? 

Stella 
I'll stop at twenty-five. 

Stanley 
Is company expected? 

Stella 
We asked Mitch to come over for cake and ice-cream. 

Stanley 
(Uncomfortably, after a pause. ) 
Don't expect Mitch over tonight. 

Stella 
(Looks slowly around at Stanley. ) 

Why? 

Stanley 
(Turning quickly to Stella.) 



230 



-Stella, Mitch is a buddy of mine. ".. r e were in the same 
outfit together — Two-forty-first Engineers. We work in 
the same plant and now on the same bowling team — 

Stella 
(Cutting in. Crosses to right of Stanley. ) 
Stanley Kowalski, did you — ? Did you repeat what that—? 

Stanley 
You're damned right I told himl I'd have that on my 
conscience the rest of my life if I knew all that stuff 
and let my best friend get caught I 
(Crosses down left.) 

Stella 
Is Mitch through with her? 

Stanley 

Well — wouldn't you be if — ? 

Stella 
I said, Is Mitch through with her? 

(Blanche sings in bathroom. ) 

Stanley 
(Facing Stella.) 
No, not exactly through with her — just wised up! 

Stella 
(Sits number two. ) 
Stanley, she thought Mitch was going to — going to marry 
her. I was hoping so, too. 

Stanley 
Well, he's not going to marry her new. Msybe he was, 
but he's not going to jump in a tank with a school of 
sharks 1 

(Crosses to bathroom and calls at door.) 
Blanche I Oh, Blanche I Can I please get in my bathroom? 

Blanche 
(Answering through door.) 
Yes, indeed, sir, can you wait one second while I dry? 



231 



Stella 
(Crosses to bedroom. Distressed.) 
Stanley! 

Stanley 
Having waited one hour I guess one second ought to pass 
in a hurry. 

Stella 
She hasn't got her job. What will she do? 

Stanley 

(Turning to Stella.) 
She's not stayin' here after Tuesday. You know that, 
don't you? Just to make sure, I bought her ticket my- 
self. A bU3 ticket! 

(Fumbles in his breast pocket to show 

Stella ticket. ) 

Stella 
(Crosses to bedroom chair and sits. ) 
In the first place, Blanche wouldn't go on a bus. 

Stanley 
She'll go on a bus and like it. 

Stella 
No, she won't, no, she won't, Stanley I 

Stanley 
She'll go! Period. P.S. — She'll go on Tuesday! 

Stella 
(Slowly. ) 
What* 11 — she — do? What on earth will she — do? 

Stanley 
Eer future is mapped out for her. 

Stella 
What do you mean? 

(Grabs Stanley's arms. Blanche sings in 
bathroom. ) 

Stanley 
(Frees himself from her grip. Going to bath- 



252 



room door, noundinr on it.) 
canary birdi Toots! Get CUT of the BATHROOM! 

(Stella crosses u o to table. Door opens 
Blanche emerges with a gay peal of laughter. 
Steam rises from bathroom. ) 

Blanc' 

(Stepping into bedroom. Carries hairbrush. 

Crosses to vanity. ) 
Oh, I feel so cood after my long, hot bath, I feel so 
food and cool and — rested. 

(Crosses to left center. Stanley £ces into 

bathroom, slamming door shut, which arrests 

Blanche' s crossing. ) 

Stella 
(Sadly find doubtfully.) 
Do you, Blanche'/ 

Blanche 

(Brushing hair vigorously. ) 
Yes, I do, so refreshed' A hot bath and a long, cold 
drink always gives me a brand new outlook on life I 

(Looks at bathroom doer, then at Stella.) 
Something has happened. lat is it? 

Stella 
(Turning away quickly.) 
Why, nothing has happened, Blanche. 

Blanche 
You're lying! Something has! 



(Fadeout and curtain. Orchestra is hoard 
playing through change. ) 



253 



ACT III 
Scone 2 



(Three-quarters of an hour later, Stanley, 
Stella end Blanche are completing a dismal 

birthday dinner. They are seated about 
table — Blanche, number two; Stanley, number 
three; Stella, number four. Stanley is 
gnawing at a chop and licks his fingers, 
Stella is embarrassed and sad. Blanche has 
a tight, artificial smile on her drawn face. 
There is a fourth chair at table, on down- 
stage side, which is vacant. Music con- 
tinues behind dialogue.) 

Blanche 

(Who is nursing a drink, speaks suddenly. ) 
Stanley, tell us a joke tell us a funny story to make us 
all laugh. I don't know what's the matter, we're all so 
solemn. Is it because I've been stood up "by my beau? 

(Stella laughs feebly. ) 
It's the first time in my entire experience with men, and 
I've had a good deal of all sorts, that I've actually 

in stood up by anybody! I don't know how to take it . , 
Tell us a funny little story, Stanley! Something to help 
us out. 

Stanley 
(Licking his fingers.) 
I didn't think you liked my stories, Blanche. 

Blanche 
I like them when they're amusing, but not indecent. 

Stanley 
I don't know any refined enough for your taste. 

Blanche 
Well — then let me tell one. 

Stella 
Yes, you tell one, Blanche. You used to know lots of 
good stories. 



234 



Blanche 
Let me see now ... 

(Fade off music. ) 
I must run through my repertoire! Oh, yes, I love parrot 
stories! Do you all like parrot stories? Well, this 

)»s about the old maid and the parrot. This old maid, 
she had a parrot that cursed a blue streak and know more 
vulgar expressions than Mr. Kowalski. 

(Pauses, smiling at Stanley, but there is 

no reaction from him. ) 
And the only way to hush the parrot up was to put the cover 
back on its cage so it would think that it was night and 

: to sleep. Well, one morning the old maid had Just 
uncovered the parrot for the day, when who should she see 
just coming up the front walk but the preacher! 11, she 
rushed back to the parrot and slipped the cover back on 
cage, and then she let in the preacher. 

(Phono rings off up right, distantly. 

Blanche leaps from her chair, listens.) 
Ch, that must be in back. 

(Resumes her place, and her story.) 
Well, the parrot was perfectly still then — just as quiet 
as a mouse. But just as she was asking the preacher how 
much sugar he wanted in his coffee — the parrot broke the 
silence with: "God damn but that was a short day!" 
Blanche throws back her head and laughs. 

Stella makes an ineffectual effort to seem 

amused. Stanley, who has been eating another 

chop, has paid no attention to story, but 

continues to lick his fingers.) 
Apparently Kr. Kowalski was not amused. 

Stella 
Mr. Kowalski is too busy making a pig of himself to think 
of anything else! 

(To Stanloy— viciously. ) 
Your face and your fingers are disgustingly greasy. Go 
and wash \:^ and then help me clear the table. 

(A pause. Stanley looks at Stella. Rises 
and knocks chair over. Suddenly., with a 

ick slap of his hand on chop-plate, breaks 
it — then with a sweep of his arm, pushes his 
broken plate, silver, and rost of his food 
off upstage side of table to floor. Blanche 
.yes a d little p, turns her face 
iy to left. Stella stares at Stanley, who 
rises and faces her across table — then she 



255 



ducks her head, ashamed.) 

Stanley 
That's how I'll clear the table. Don't ever talk that 
■ to mo. "Pig — Polaek — disgusting— vulgar — greasy!" 
Then kind of words have been on your tongue and your 
sister's too much around here! What do you think you 
two are; A pair of queens'? B )or what Huey Long 
said,— "Every man is a King!" — And I am the king around 
here, so don't you forget it! My place is cleared! You 
want me to clear your places? 

(Reaches for other dishes. Stella protects 
them. He looks at the women, stalks out onto 
porch, where he moves to left end of it and 
faces upstage. ) 

Blanche 
What happened while I was bathing? What did he tell you, 
Stella? 

Blanche 

I think he told you something about Mitch end me! I 

think you know Why Mitch didn't come this evening, but 

you won't tell me! 

(Stella shakes her head helplessly. Blanche 
rises suddenly, crosses to bedroom. ) 

I'm going to call him. 

Stella 
(Eises and crosses to bedroom doorway, trying 
to restrain Blanche.) 
I wouldn't call him, Blanche. 

Blanche 
I am, I'm going to call him on the phone. 

Stella 
(Miserably. ) 
I wish you wouldn't. 

Blanche 
(Crossing above Stella, takes up phone, 
dials. Stella goes out onto porch. Stanley 
. does not turn to face her. ) 
I intend to be given some explanation from someone. 

(Orchestra plays.) 



236 



Stella 

(Reproachfully, to Stanley.) 
I hope you're pleased with your doings. I never had so 
much trouble swallowing food in my life, looking at that 
girl's foco and the empty chair. 

Blanche 

(At phone. ) 
Hello, Mr. Mitchell, please. Oh — I would like to leave 
a number if I may. 

(Stella looks in at Blanche.) 
. gnolia 90*+7« 

(At this point, we hear laughter, at first 

quiet, and intimate — and soon boisterous and 

downright dirty, between Eunice and Steve 

in apartment above.) 
And say it's important to call. Yes, very important. 
Thank you. 

(Blanche hangs up. Stands helplessly by phone, 

looking about. ) 

Stanley 

(Going to Stella, sits on steps. Turning 

her toward him and taking her clumsily in 

his arms. ) 
Stell, it's going to be all right after she goes ctnd 
cer you've had the baby. It's gonna be all right 
ain between you and mo the way it was. You remember 
that way that it was? Them nights we had together? God, 
honey, it's gonna be sweet when we can make noise in the 
night the way that we used to and pet the colored lights 
going with nobody's sister behind the curtains to hear 
us I 

(Stanley chuckles, looks up.) 
Steve and Eunice . . . 

(Stella takes Stanley's arm and leads him 

back toward living room. She goes to cabinet, 

gets matches to light candles.) 

Stella 

(As she enters room, speaks to Stanley. ) 
Stanley, corns on back in. 

(Then, as she approaches candles with match. ) 
Blanche? 

Blanche 
(Rises. Crosses table number four. ) 



227 



Yes, Oh, those pretty, pretty little candles. 

(Stella lights match. Blanche rushes for- 
ward end blows it out. Stands at left 
of Stella.) 
Oh, don't burn them, Stella! You ought to save them for 
baby's birthdays. Oh, I hope candles are going to clow 
in his life, and I hope that his eyes are going to be like 
candles, like two blue candles lighted in a white cake I 

Stanley 

(Crosses above to bathroom, speaks near 
bathroom door. ) 
What poetry! 

(Goes into bathroom. ) 

Blanche 

(Sits in number four chair, referring to her 
phone call. ) 
I shouldn't have called him. 

Stella 
(Moving to above Blanche.) 
There's lots of things could have happened. 

Blanche 
There's no excuse for it, Stella. I don't have to put 
up with insults. I won't be taken for granted. 

(Fade off music. ) 

Stanley 
(Coming out of bathroom, moving to center.) 
Hey, 31anehe, you know it's hot in here with the steam 
from the bathroom. 

Blanche 
(Blanche rises, pounding on table and scream- 
ing at top of her voice.) 
I've said I was sorry, three times! 

(Turns to Stanley. He crosses to doorway.) 
I take hot baths for my nerves. Hydro- therapy they call 
it! You healthy Polack, without a riQTVQ in your body, of 
course you don't know what anxiety feels like! 

Stanley 
(Crosses down to kitchen. ) 



2^3 



I am not a Polack. People from Poland are Polos, not 
lacks. But what I am is one-hundred-per-cent American, 

1 raised in the greatest country on earth and 
proud as hell of it, so don't ever cull .me a Poiack, 

(Phone rings, Blanche leaps up expectantly. 

Stanley crosses to bedroom phone. ) 

Blanche 
Oh, that's for me, I'm sure! 

Stanley 
Dving to phone, brushes her aside.) 
I'm not sure. You just keep your seat. 

( An s v e r s p 'none . ) 
E ' 1 o . Aw , yen , he 11 o , Mac . 

(Blanche has followed Stanley a step or t T .;o 
to phone. Now she turns, almost staggers, 
a step right. Stella moves forward, touches 
Blanche ' s shoulder. ) 

BlancJ 

Oh, keep your hands off me, Stella: What's the matter 
with you? Why do you look at me with that pitying look? 

(Stella leans against ice-box.) 

Stanley 

(Bawling at Blanche.) 
Will you SIOJT UP I . IHSREI 

(Into phone. ) 
We've got a noisy woman on the place. Go on, Mac. At 
Riley's? No, I don't wanta bowl at Riley's. I had a 
little trouble with Riley last week. I'm the team cap- 
tain, ain't I? All right, then, we're not gonna bowl at 
Riley's, we're gonna bowl at the West Side or the Gala! 
All right, Mac, see you I 

(Stanley hangs up. Goes to Blanche at 
ible. Stella is standing below ice-box. 

ley, reaching in his breast pocket, speaks 

with f aire amiability. ) 
Sister Blanche, I'vs got a little birthday remembrance 
for you. 

(Takes out envelope containing bus ticket 



233 



and partly opens envelope. ) 

Blanche 

Oh, have you, Stanley? I wasn't expecting any. 

Stanley 
(Handing her envelope. ) 
I hope you like it. 

Blanche 
( Opening envelope and taking out ticket. ) 
/, why — why, it's a 

Stanley 
Ticket! Back to Laurel I On the Greyhound 1 Tuesday! 

("Varsouviana" is heard through balance of 
scene. Blanche tries to smile. Then tries 
to laugh. Gives up both, turns accusingly 
to Stella at right. Suddenly, she rune above 

anley into bedroom, commencing to sob 
sharply. Pauses in center of bedroom, not 

Lowing which way to run, finally, with 
shaking sobs, darts into bathroom, slamming 
door shut. Stanley has moved to center of 
living room. Stella comes to right of him. ) 

Stella 
You didn't need to do that. 

Stanley 
(At right of left seat. ) 
Don't forget all that I took off her. 

Stella 
(Following— at his right. ) 
You needn' t have been so cruel to someone alone as she 
is. 

Stanley 
Delicate piece she is. 



St 



alia 



She is. She was. You didn't know Blanche as a girl. 
Nobody, nobody was tender and trusting as she was. But 



240 



people liko you abused her, and forced her to chsnge. 
(Stanley goes up to trunk, which during 
opening two scenes of this act has bec^ 
closed, and has a fancy not covering throvn 
over it. Starts to pick up his green bowling- 
jacket at trunk, Stella follows to below him.) 

Do you think you're going bowling now? 

Stanley 
Sure. 

(Starts to get into his jacket.) 

Stella 
You're not going bowling. 

(Stanley crosses in front of Stella. She 

grabs his downstage left arm.) 
Why did you do this to her? 

Stanley 

(Her violent hold on his arm tears his shirt.) 
Let go of my shirt. You've torn it! 

Stella 
(Wildly. ) 

I want to knew why! Tell me why! 

Stanley 
(Pushes Stella into bedroom chair, handling 
her very roughly. ) 
za we first met, me and you, you thought I was common. 
w right you was, baby! I was cc n as dirt! You showed 
me the snapshot of the place with the columns, i pulled 
you down off them columns and how you loved it, having 
them colored lights going! And wasn't we happy together, 

sn't it all okay until she showed hero? And wasn't 
we happy together? Wasn't it all okay till she showed 
here! Hoity-toity, describing me like an ape. 

(A pause. Ho starts to put on his jacket, then 
turns, studies Stella. Sees she is in pain. 
Crosses quickly to her. Gently. ) 
Hoy, what is it, Stel? 'Did I hurt you? Whatsa matter, baby? 

Stella 
.. (Weakly. ) 
Take me to the hospital . . . 

(Kc quickly supports her with his arm and 
leads her out.; 

(Fade out and curtain. "Varsouviana" up 
full through change. ) 



2 I L 



ACT III 
Scene 3 



(A while later that evening. Rooms are 
dimly lighted, Blanche is seated in a 
tense position in armchair in bedroom, 
holding a drink. She still hears t ie 
sound of the Varsouviana. She wears her 
5sing~gown. She has been drinking to 
escape the sense of disaster closing in on 
her. Fan in bedroom is spinning almost 
soundlessly. Mitch enters. He is in his 
work clothes. Hurries to front door of 
apartment and pounds on it. No answer 
—he repeats pounding. Fade off "Varsouviana.") 



Who is it, pie as e? 



(Hoarsely. ) 
Me . . . Mitch. 



Blanche 

latch 



Blanche 
(Rises. ) 

Mitch! — Just a minute! 

(Blanche darts about frantically, carrying 
drink, goes to table in living room to hide 
bottle of liquor. She runs into living room, 
looks about, sticks bottle and glass under 
left seat. 2 .n rushes to dressing table, 
by now quite beside herself, shaking and 
muttering. She dabs at her face — combs her 
hair. Mitch pounds on door, then bursts 
through it, stands inside dimly lighted 
room, Blanche hurries to just inside living 
room. Mitch starts around below table in 
living room, which is still set from birthday 
d inner , w i t h c ake and decorations*) 
Mitch! Y'know, I really shouldn't let you in after the 
treatment I have received from you this evening! So 
utterly^uncavalier! But, hello, beautiful! 

(Mitch brushes past her below table and 
into bedroom. Moves towards bathroom, then 



24-2 



back upstage! toward bed. Kg is annoyed 
by draught if J .. Blanche follows.) 
, ray, what a cold shoulder! i such uncouth opparol! 
(Cros ..o him. ) 
Why, you haven't even . ' d! But I forgive you. I 

c-cuse it's such a relief to see you. You've 
at polka tune that I had caught In r . ;r he: . 

.- had anj .. it in your head 3 
(She has moved close to him, at his right, 
below bed. ) 
No, of course you haven't, you dumb angel-puss, you'd never 
get anything awful caught in your headl 

Mitch 
(Rubs his hand across back of his neck, where 
he is struck by cold air from fan.) 
Do we have to have that fan on; 

- - 

(Crossing below him to fan, which is on 
dressing table.) 
No! 

Mitch 

I don't like fans, 

Blanc 

Then let's turn it off, honey. I'm not partial to them. 

(Turns off fan. Touching invisible button on 

bottom of bracket left. ) 
I don't know what there is to drink. I — haven't In- 
vestigated. 

Mitch 
I don't want Stan's liquor. 

Blanche 
It isn't Stan's. SoiTie things on the premises arc act- 
ually mine I How is your mother? Isn't your mother well? 

("Varsouviana" is heard.) 

Mitch 
y? 

("Varsouviana" is heard again, faintly.) 



?A3 



Blanche 
Something's the natter tonight, but never mind, 

laring music, she turn:: away from him 
end crosses behind bedroom chair. ) 
I won't cross-ex tie the witness. I'll 3ust — 

(Touches her forehead vn. r . ) 
— pretend 1 don't notice anything different .-.bout you! — 
that — music again . . . 

Mitch 
(Moves a step to her right. ) 
What music? 

Blanche 
The polka tune they were playing when Allan — 

(Relieved. Sound of a distant shot. "Var- 

souviana" music stops abruptly. ) 
There, now, the shot! It always stops after that. 

(Listening. ) 
Yes, now it's stopped. 

(hove s right a step. ) 

hitch 
(Behind her.) 
Are you boxed out of your mind 3 

Blanche 

I'll go see what I can find in the way of — 

(Turns back to him. ) 
Oh, by the wsy, excuse mo for not being dressed. But I'd 
practically given you up I Had you forgotten your invita- 
tion to supper? 

"(Crosses to kitchen cabinet, clatters among 

bottles, takes out clean glass.) 

hitch 
(At right of center door.) 
I wasn't going to see you any more. 

Blanche 
it a minute I I can't hear what you're saying, and you 
talk so little that when you do say something, I don't 
want.tojuiss a single syllable of it! 

(He turns to bedroom, crosses to below bed. 



244 



moves to back of table. Ha puts his 

r ght foot on bed, near head, facing up- 
.. ) 
What am I looking around here for? 

(SI vers uncertainly above table. Holds 

glass she has taken from cabinet. ) 
Oh, yes, liquor! a've had so much excitement around here 
this evei - that I am boxed out of my mindl 

(She re srs bottle under left coat, goes 

to it, holds it up.) 
ksae' s soir n Comfort! 

(Standing in center door, facing Mitch.) 
What is that, I vender? 

(She crosses to right of him, carrying bottle 

and glass, ) 

Mitch 
If you don't know, it must belong to Stan. 

Blanc 
(Crosses to bedroom. ) 
:e your foot off the 'sea. It has a clean cover on it. 
(Moving to left of armchair, pouring herself 
a drink. ) 
Of course, you boys don't notice things like that. I've 
done so much with this place since I've been hero, 

tch 

I bet you have. 

Blanc 
You saw it before I came. 11, look at it now. This 
room is almost — dainty! I want to keep it that way. 

Mitch 
(Turns to her. ) 
Aren't you leaving pretty soon now? 
(Crosses down to her. ) 

Blanche 
(Testes drink. ) 
I \ r if this stuff ought to be mixed with something? 

It's sweet, so sweet! It's terribly sweet i .7, 
it 1 a li .*, I believe: Yes, that's what it is, a 
liqueur! 

(At bear oo.t, chair. runts, Blanche 



245 



offers hira glass. ) 
I'm afraid you -won't like it, but try it, and maybe you 
will- 

ten 

I told you already I don' t none of his liquor. And 

n it i You ought to lay ' his liquor. He s^ys 
you bean lapping it up all summer like a wild-cati 

Blanche 
(Mitch crosses down left, Blanche turns 
to him. ) 
at a fantastic stater: t) Fantastic of him to say it, 
ana fantastic of you to r t it! I won't descend to the 
level of such c accusations to answer them, even! 
. lat's in your mind? I see something in your eyes! 
(Blanche crosses down right. ) 

hitch 
It's dark in here! 

(Crosses to loft of Blanche, center bedroom.) 

Blanche 
I like it dark. 

(Apprehensively, moves away from him 

to center. ) 
The dark is comforting to me. 

(Down right. ) 

Mitch 
I don't think I ever seen you in the light. That's 

Blanche 
Is it'? 

hitch 
I've never seen you in the afternoon. 

Blanche 
(Crosses right to vanity and sits.) 
h'hose fault is that? 

hiach 
- . (Following. ) 
You never want to go cut in the afternoon. 
(Over left.) 



246 



31nnc> 
/, Mitch, you're at the plant in the afternoon! 

ten 
(Behind her.-) 
Not Sunday afternoon, Yoi want to go out till 
.■ six, end then it's ys some place that's not 
much, 

Blanc 
; obscure ning in this, but I fail to 
catch it. 

tch 
(Overlapping her speech. Turns her to him.) 
at it means is, I've never had a real good look at you, 
nche. 

(Her chin in hand. Leaves her, moves to- 

rds bracket vhich holds paper lantern 
. 3ve dr rig table. ) 
Let's turn on the light her:.: 

Blanc 
Light" Which light? What for*. 

Mitch 
This one, with the paper thing on it: 

(I taper lantern off bulb, tosses 
lantern to floor in front of Blanche, 
down left. She drops to her knees with a 
little cry, trying to rescue lantern. ) 

Blanche 
What did you do that forV 

Mitch 
(Crosses down left center.) 
Jo I can take a look at you, good and plain! 

31. 
Of course you don't really mean to be insulting! 

itch 
just, re 'j lis tic. 

.anche 
I don't ; realism. I want — mallei 

Mitch 
MagicI 



247 



Blanche 
(Still on her knees.) 
Yes, yes, .cl I try to give that to people. I do 

»sent tilings to 1 .1 don't tell the truth, I 
tell what ought to bo truth. And if that's a sin, than 
lot rae bo d, for it! Don't turn on the light! 

Mi t 

(Goes to 13 ■ ' t, pulls chain, corres back, 

pulls Blanch feet, shoves her back 
;ainst dre; sing table, pushing her face 
to harsh glare oX the naked bulb. Slowly 
bitterly. ) 
I don't mind you being older than what I thought. But all 
the rest of it — 

(Pause — then shouts. ) 
CEHIST! 

(Drops her arms and steps back a bit away 

from her. ) 
. at pitch about your ideals being so old-fashioned, and 
all the malarchkey that you've occn dishing out all summer. 
Oh, I knew you weren 1 t sixteen any more. But I was a 
fool en: to believe you were straicht. 

Llanche 
(Leaning against sing table, facing him.) 
Who told you I wasn't — "straight"? My loving brother-in- 
law. And you believed hi . 

Mitch 

(A step toward her.) 
No! I called him a liar at first. id then I checked 
on the story. First I asked our supply man who travels 
through Laurel. And then I talked directly ever long 
distance to this merchant. 



(Rises.) 

Who is this merchant? 



hiofaber. 



Blanche 



Mitch 



Blanc j 

■ y. t - -•:.: b r of Laurel! I 3 ic the man. He 
whistled at me. I put him in his place. Jo now for re- 



243 



venge, ho makes up stories about mo, 

[itch 

Three people, Kiefabcr, Stanley and Shaw, swore to theml 

ib-a-dub-dub, three men In a tub! — a such a filthy tubl 

-.itch 
(Overlapping on "tub" — the first time*) 
Didn't you stay at a hotel called the Flamingo? 

Blanche 

(Crosses behind Mitch* ) 
Flamingo? No I Tarantula was the name of it I I stayed 
at a hotel called the Tarantula Armsl 

Latch 
( 3 tup idly. ) 
Tarantula Arms? 

Blanche 
, a big spider I That's whore I brought my victims, 
(Pause. ) 
Yes, I had many intimacies with strangers, ■ After the 
death of Allan — intimacies with strangers was all I 
'. able to fill my empty heart with. 
(Pause, ) 
I think it was panic — just panic that drove me from one 
to another, searching for some protection — in the most 
unlikely places 1 Even, at last, in a seventeen- year- 
old boy — 

(Crosses down etc . To Mitch.) 
.: somebody wrote the superintendent, "This woman is 
.-'ally unfit for her position:" True? Yes, I suppose— 
unfit somehow — anyway, • • • So '. ie here, 1 are was 
no- .se I could go, I was played out. You know 
played out means? My youth was suddenly gone up 
r-spout and I — met you. You said you needed 
sc. y. II, I needed sc . ...y, too, I . God 
for you, because you s^ d tc be gentle — a cleft in 
the rock of the world that I could hide in I 

(Blanche crosses to him, touches tim, Mitch 
<- turns head, d to below bod,) 
But I much! 

(Outside, down left, r woman 

■ is hoard approaching, and sound of her call, 

"Floras Para Lc~ .-~~rtos," is hoard indis- 



243 



tinctly at first, thon more clearly.) 
Ki'efaber, Stanley and Shaw tied en old tin can to the 
tail of the kite. 

(Crosses to vanity.) 

Mitch 
You lied to me, Blanche. 

(Crosses in to her.) 

Blanche 
( Turns on him. ) 
Don't say I lied to you. 

Mitch 
Lies, lies, inside and out, all lies. 

anche 

er inside. I didn't lie in my heart. I "was true as 
God in my heart to all of you — always — always I 

(Mexican woman has app< sared by this time, 
carrying her tin f lovers, coming onto 
porch. As Blanche says the first "always" 
in the speech immediately preceding, the 
Mexican woman mutters "Flores J" on porch. 
Blanche, hearing "Flores!" on porch.) 
What? 

Mexican woman 
Flores . . . 

Blanche 
Oh, somebody outside . . . 

(Crosses to doorway. "Varsouviana" heard.) 

Mexican woman 
(Continuing as she stands immediately outside 
front door. Mitch cresses center.) 
Flores. Flores para les muertos? 

Blanche 
(Frightened. ) 
No, nol Not now! No* - , now! 

Mexican woman 
(Sits on stepps up left throughout her speech. 
Tu: away.; 

Flores para ios muertos. 



250 



Blanche 
I lived in a house where dying old "women remembered their 
a • • • 

Mexican woman 
Flores, Flores para los muertos . . . 

Blan< 

(As if to herself. ) 
Crumble and fade — regrets — recriminations . . . 

jxican woman 
Coronas . 

Blanche 
"If you'd done this it wouldn't have cost me that I" 
Legacies! 

Mexican woman 
Coronas para los muertos. Cornonas . • • 

Blancl 
And other things, such as blood-stained pillow-slips — 

eds changing" — "Yes, Mother, But couldn't 
we get a colored girl to do it?" Ho, we couldn't of 
course — Everything gone but — 

sxicen woman 
Flores ... 

Blanche 

Death. 

I .::iean woman 
Flores para los muertos. 

I used to sit here and she used to sit over there and 
death was as close as you are. 

jxican woman 
Coronas. 

Blanc 
We didn't dare even adm^t we had ever heard of it. 



251 



::ican woman 
Coronas para los muertos . . . 

(Drifts out up right.) 



Death, 

Floras • • • 

The opposite is Desire. 



(Faintly. ) 

Flores . . . 



Blanche 
Mexican woman 
Blanche 
Mexican woman 



Blanche 

So do you wonder? How could you possibly wonder? 

.-jxican woman 
(Very faintly — almost off up right.) 
Coronas . • . 

Blanche 
(Sits in chair left of table.) 
Not far from Belle Reve, oaf ore wo had lost Belle Reve, 
was a cai .ore they trained young soldiers. On Satur- 
day nights they would go into town and get drunk. And 
on the way back they would stagger on to my lawn and 
call, "Blanche! Blanche!" — The deaf old lady remaining 
suspected nothing. But si si slipped outside to 
answer their calls . • . Later the paddy-wagon would 
gather them up like daisies . • . the long way home . . , 
(Sits in bedroom chair. Fade off "Varsou- 
viana." Mitch crosses quickly to behind 
Blanche, places his arms about her waist 

ad stands her up. At first she takes him, 
passionately, then pushes him away. He 
seizes her roughly — grasping a few strands 
of her hair in his left hand. ) 
What do you want? 



Wha1 



Mitch 
(Fumbling to embrace her. ) 
I been missing all summer. 



252 



Blanche 
Th .. . -•;■ | Mitch! 

(Sits her down roughly.) 
Nol You're not clean enough to bring in the house with 
my mother, 

Blanche 
(Loudly. ) 
Go away then, 

stares at her, then starts bac" .1 up.) 
Get out of here quick beware I start s _'ire! 
(Ke scr- :s to get out door. She follows 
him, shout ins. ) 
Get out of .. 3 quick before I start screaming fire I 
[He hurries out door, and off up left, 
.che chases him out, then stands in 
doorway screaming. ) 
.•ire ! Fire I Fire ! 



deout and curtain. Orchestra plays 
through change, "C-ood night ladies" 
commences under other music and miked 
applause.) 



<-ir7 
<~ ; J 



ACT III 

Scene h 

(A few hours later ... .. Blanche has 
been drinking fairly steadily sinco prcccd- 

; scene, - has opened Lor wardrobe 
trunk and thrown ; goodly t ; of her 

fancy clothing around the apartment* Beds, 
armchair, trunk are covered with finery. 
Jewel-box is in lid of trunk. A bottle 
stands mutely on dressing table. Is is 
the break-away bottle used late in the 
scene.) Blanche is standing before dressing 
table, glass in hand. She is dressed in a 
somewhat soiled and crumpled white- satin 
evening gown and a pair of scuffed slippers. 

a wears a rhinestone tiara in her disar- 
ranged hair. A mood of hysterical exhilar- 
ation has possessed her, and she fancies 
she hears applause and favorable comments 
of her old friends at a party at Belle Reve. 

Dplause and chatter effect on mike from 
right, dying away as curtain rises.) 

Blanche 
_ ; about taking a swim, a moonlight swim at the old 
rock quarry? If anyone's sober ...: h to drive a car! 
Best way in the world to stop your head buzzing I Only 
you've got to be careful to di\ ere the deep pool 
is, if you don't come up till tomorrow. 

(Stanley enters from down right, comes 
into apartment. Ha is still wearing his 
torn shirt and has i a hospi- 

tal* Carries a large pay, ] ; in which are 
a bottle of beer, a bottle of liquor, a 
bottle opener and some pretzel sticks. Door 
to apartment is open. He leaves it open, 
puts paper bag down on table, goes to ice- 
box. Gets a glass from cabinet. .an sees 
Blanche. Stanley grasps the situation. 
"Good Night Ladies" is heard as Blanche 
* murmurs to her group of spectral admirers. )- 
Ch, my goodness! They're playing "Good Night Ladies." 
Kay I rest my weary head on your shoulder'; It's so 



,254 



comforting . . . 

(Stands up center in bedroom, laying her 
head against her hand. Music dies out. ) 

Stanley 

(Pivots during speech, gets beer and sits 
number three.) 
Hi*ya, Blanche I 

Blanche 
(Crosses to doorway, speaks to him.) 

How is my sister? 

(Crosses in center. ) 

St: 
(At table, puts down glass.) 
She is doing okay. 

Blanc. 
And how is the baby? 

Stanley 
(Grinning amiably. ) 
: baby won't come before morning, so they told me to 
CO home and get a little shut-eye. 

akes bottles out of bag, puts them on 
table. ) 

Blanche 

(A step into living room. ) 
Does that mean we are to be alone in here? 

Stanley 
(Looks at Blanche. ) 

Yep. Just me and you, Blanche. hat f ve you got those 
fine feather- s on for? 

(Crosses to tabic. Places drink on it.) 

Blanche 
Oh, that's right. You left before my wire came. 

Stanley 
You got -a wire? 

Blanche 

I received a telegram from an old admirer of mine. 



255 



Stanl< j 

(Above table.) 
Anything good? 

Blanche 
I think so. An invitation. 

(Crosses to trunk and sits.) 

Stanley 
What to? 

Blanc 

A cruise on the Caribbean on a yacht 1 

Stanley 
Well, well. What do you know! 

Blanch 2 
I have never been so surprised in my life. 

Stanley 
I guess not. 

Blanche 
It came like a bolt from the blue! 

Stanley 
(Above table.) 
Who did you say it was from? 

Blanche 
(At center. ) 
An -old beau of mine. 

Stanl ' 

The one that gave you the white fo^:-pieces? 

Blanche 
(Crosses to cabinet for pretzel.) 
Mr. Shep Huntleigh. I were his ATO pin my last year at 
college. I hadn't seen hi . ;ain until last Christmas. 
I ran into him on Biscayne Boulevard. Then — just now — 
this wire— inviting me to a cruise of the Caribbean 1 
. problem is clothes! I tore into my trunk to see 



K£ 



2^C 



at I have that's suitable for the tropics! 

Stanl 

a up vith that — . . ... sous — diamond — tiara? 

lanche 
(Crosses to downstage table left.) 
This old relic! it ; s only rhinestones. 

Stanl 
(Crosses to tal - three and sits.) 
Gosh. I thought it v. . Tiffany's diamonds. 

Blanche 
(In center. ) 
11 i anyhow, I shall be entertained in style. 

Stanley 
(Puts liquor bottle on table.) 
It goes to show you, you never know what is coming, 

Blanc 
Just when I thought my luck had be^ua to fail me — 

Stanley 
(Rises and crosses to bedroom.) 
Into the picture pops this Mi i lillionaire. 

Blanche 

This man is not from Miami. n is from Dallas. 

Stanley 
(Taking off shirt.) 
This man is from Dallas? 

Blanc. 
(Crosses to number three chair.) 
Yes, this man is from Dallas, uhc.-^ gold spouts out of 
ground ! 

Stan". 
>sses shirt on bureau.) 
11, just so he's from somewhere! 



257 



Blanche 
(Starts to doorway, moving vaguely below 
trunk. ) 

Close the curtains before you undress any further, 

Stanl 

(Amiably, ) 
This is all I'm going to undress right now. 

(Crosses below her to ice-box. She retires 

to bedroom, drapinj her torn veil about her, 

casting side-long glances at herself in 

mirror, left. ) 
Have you soon what I did with the bottle opener? 

(He is peering into cabinet. ) 
I used to have a cousin could open a beer-bottle with 
his teeth. 

(Comes to table, sits on it, gets out beer 

bottle, prepares to open it.) 
That was his only accomplishment, ail he could do — 
he was just a human bottle-opener. 

(Sits in chair number three.) 
And then, one time, at a wedding party, 

(Finds opener in bag. j 
he broke his front teeth off I After that, he was so 
ashamed of himself he used t* snenk out of the house 
when company came . ., . 

(Stanley opens b bottle. I ? oam gushes 

forth. Stanley laughs happily, holding up 

bottle, letting beer cascade over his arms 

and person. ) 
Rain from heaven: 

(Drinks.) 
at'ya say, Blanche? 

(Rises, crosses to bedroom, sits on bed.) 
Shall we bury the hatchet and make it a loving-cup? 

Blanche 
No, thank you. 

Stanley 
Aw, get with it, Blanche 1 

Blanche 
(At right side of door center. ) 
•What are you doing in here? 



258 



its pajamas from drawer or bureau.) 
re's . thing I always b out on special occasions 
like this, ie silk pyjamas I i^ore on my ^nn; night! 

E lanche 

Stanley 
And i the telephone ri and they say "You've rot 
a son!" I'll tear this off an c it like a flaj I 
(Crosses down £ . Blanche Dills up 

. of center. eves 
; aloft, and rises.) 
I guess we both entitled to put on the dc . 

('. - face on j t, throws it 
a dressing table. s into liviJ 

She moves upstage to avoid him. 
crosses to kitchen guzzling bear,) 
You having en oil millionaire, an having a baby! 

(Stands below pillar, hold:. rtain bet- 
on them, faces left, hollows to doorway.) 
m I think of how divine it is s oi ng to be to have 
.h a thin privacy once ...ore — I could weep with 
joy! 

Stanh 
(Above table. Eating pretzel sticks from 
. ) 
This millionaire from Dallas is not going to interfere 
with your privacy any? 

Blancl 
(In doorway. ) 

It won't be the sort of thing you have in mind. This 
man is a gentleman, and he respects me. 

(Crosses to bedroom chair. Improvising 
verishly. ) 
ants is my companionship. Having great wealth 
kes people lonely! A cultivated woman, a 
an of intelligence end b. .ng, can enrich a man's 
surablyl I ha\ : offer, and 

3 doesn't take thorn away. Lysical beauty is passing, 



259 



a transitory possession. But beauty of the mind and 

3 of the spirit and tenderness of the heart — and 
I : all those things! — aren't taken away, but gro- I 
ith tl ars! How strange that I :_d bo 
called a destitute woman! :..: I have all of these 
treasures locked in my 3 't. I think of syself as a 
ry, very rich woman! But I have been foolish — cast- 
ing my pearls before — 

Swine, huh? 



Stanley 



Blanche 
(In doorway. ) 

Yes, swine! Swine! ... I'm thinking not only of you, 
but of your fr -, Mr. Mitchell. He came to see mo 
ht. He dared to come here in his work-clothes I 
And to repeat slander to me, 

(C2-QC5C5 down right, turns on) 
vicious stories that he had gotten from you! — I -~ave 
him his walking papers! 

(Crosses center. ) 



Stanley 



You did, huh? 



Blanc 
(Crosses to doorway. ] 

But then he came back. lie returned with a bos of roses 
to bee my forgiveness. lie implored my forgiveness. 

(Pose on turn. ) 
But some things are not forgivable. liberate cruelty 
is not forgivable. It is the one unforgivable thing in 
my opinion and it is the one thing of which I have never, 
r been guilty. And so I told him, I said to him, 
nk you, but it was foolish of me to think that we 
could ever adapt ourselves to each other. 

(Crosses to number chair two end sits.) 
Our ways of life are too different. 

(Stanley leans on back of left chair. ) 
Our attitudes and our b. s are incompatible.^ 
have to be realistic about such things. So farewell, my 
friend! - And let there be no hard feclin- . . . 

(Crosses to below left seat. Stanley rises.) 

Stanley 
Was this before or after the telegram came from Texas? 



260 



Blanche 
(Moving down left in living room, halts 
abruptly. ) 
at telegram? 

(Half turns to Stanley, then moves on down 
left.) 
No I No, after I As a matter of fact, the wire came Just 
as — 

Stanley 
As a matter of fact, there wasn't no wire at alll 

Blanche 
(Sitting on left soat. ) 
Oh, ohl 

Stanley 
(Crosses to Blanche's right.) 
There isn't no millionaire, and Mitch didn't come back 
here with no roses, because I know where he is I 

Blanche 
Chi 

Stanley 
There isn't a damn thing but imagination, and lies, and 
conceit and tricks! 

(Clutches train of her dress.) 
And look at yoursolf ! 

(Throws train at her.) 
Take a loo!: at yourself in that worn-out Mardi Gras out- 
fit, rented for fifty cents from some rag-picker I 

(Snaps his fingers.) 
And with that crazy crown onl 

(Sweeps it off her head, tosses it upstage.) 
What kind of a queen do you think you are? 

Blanche 
(Kising, flees to left of table.) 
Oh, God . . . 

Stanley 
- (Below table, following her, into bedroom.) 
I've been on to you from the start. Wot once did you 
pull any wool over this boy's eyesl 

(Blanche retreats into bedroom to bench 
at vanity and sits.) 



261 



You come in hero and sprinkle tho place with powder and 
spray perfume, and cover the light-bulb with a paper 
lantern, and lo and behold the place has turned into 

;ypt and you are Queen of tho Kile I Sitting on your 
throne, and swilling down my liquor! I say — Hal Hal 
(Clutches her firmly, as she nearly faints 
in his grasp, ) 
Do you hear me? Ha — ha — ha! 

(Pushes her aside — to stage loft center. 
He picks up his pa jama coat from dressing 
table, and goes into bathroom, slamming 
door. Scream is heard off, up left, Sound 
of excited murmur ins in street, and from 
cafe, up right, Blanche runs to phone. 
Sits upper end of left seat beside it, ter- 
rified at sounds from outside. As she 
dials, then gets operator.) 

Blanche 
Operator, operator! Give me long distance, please, — 
I want to get in touch with Mr, Shep Huntleigh of Dallas, 
He ! s so well-known he doesn't require any address. Just 
ask anybody who— Wait!! No, I couldn f t find it right 
now — please understand — I — wol No! — Wait I I can't! 
I can't! 

(Puts down phone, trembling. Crosses to 
kitchen, staggering. Goes once more to 
phone, kneels beside it, clutching her 
possessions, ) 
Operator! Operator I Never mind long distance. Get 
Western Union, There isn't time to be—Western — Western 
Union! 

(Pause, ) 
Union? Yes! I want to— Take down this message: "In 
desperate, desperate circumstances! Help me! Caught 
in a trap! Caught in — n 

(Hears a sound from bathroom door, ) 
Oh! 

(Stanley emerges from bathroom. He has 
put out bathroom light. He is dressed in 
his red silk pajamas. He grins at Blanche, 
then advances to phone, which is clicking, 
^ receiver off hook. Puts receiver back on 
hook. ) 

Stanley 
You left the phone off the hook. 



252 



Blanche 

(Starting after him. ) 
Let me get out — let mo get by youl 

Stanley 

(Just inside door. Upstage.) 
Get by me? Sure. Go ahead. 

Blanche 
(Indicating a place somewhere left.) 
You — you stand over there I 

Stanley 
You got plenty of room to walk by me now. 

Blanche 
(Works -way down to vanity.) 
Not with you there 1 But I've got to get out somehow! 

Stanley 
You think I'll interfere with you? 

(Softly. Starting to move toward Blanche.) 
Come to think of it— maybe you wouldn't be bad to — inter- 
fere with . . . 

Blanche 
(Below dressing table.) 
Stay back! Don't you come toward me another step or I'll — 

Stanley 
What? 

Blanche 
Some awful thing will happen! It will! 

Stanley 
(Closing in slowly.) 
What are you putting on now? 

Blanche 
I warn you, don'tl I'm in dangerl 

(As sho continuos, she fumbles for scissors, 
then picks them up from dressing table.) 

Stanley 
What do you want that for? 



263 



Blanche 
So I can cut your face -with it I 

Stanley 
I bet you would do that I 

Blanche 
I would! I will if— 

Stanley 
Oh, you want sorae rough-house! All right, let's have 
soma rough-house I 

(Springs towards her. She cries out. He 

seizes her hand holding scissors, twists it 

behind her. ) 
Tiger — tiger! Drop the scissors! Drop it! 

(He bends her to his will, picks her up 

in his arms. ) 
We've had this date with each other from the beginning! 

(Starts towards bed with her.) 



(Quick fadeout and curtain. Orchestra 
plays through change.) 



^ " A 



ACT III 
Scene 5 



(Some days later. Music fades off at rise, 
Stella is back from the hospital, and has 
Blanche's suitcase open on dressing table 
chair, which faces upstage, She is packing 
Blanche's things, standing below bed, fold- 
ing slips which she puts in suitcase which 
she then closes. Blanche's trunk is closed, 
locked. Some of Blanche's slips are on bed, 
one on back of armchair. The dress she will 
wear is draped over back of dressing table 
chair. Her jacket is on bed. In living room 
another poker game is in progress. Stanley 
is seated above table, Mitch at his right. 
Blanche's jewel-box is lying in armchair. 
Stella has been crying, as she arranges 
slips. Eunice cones down from above, carry- 
ing dish full of grapes and other fruit. 
When she enters living room, there is an 
outburst from poker game. Eunice closes 
front door behind her. Stella comes to above 
armchair, picks up slip from back of chair, 
starts to fold it. ) 

Stanley 
Drew to an inside straight and made it, by God I 

Pablo 
1-aldita sea tu suertol 

Str.nley 
Fut it in English, grease-balll 

Pablo 
I am cursing your rutting luck! 

Stanley 
(To Kitch, prodigiously elated.) 
You know what luck is? Luck is believing you're lucky. 
Take at Salerno. I believed I was lucky. I figured that 
four out of five would not come through, but I would . . 
and I did. I put that down as a rule. To hold a front 
position in this rat race you've got to believe you're 



265 



lucky* 

Mitch 
(Furiously. ) 

You . . . you . . . you . . . brag . . • brag . . . bull 

• . • bull . . . 

(Turns away from game, faces front and rests 
his chin on arm on back of his chair. ) 

Stanley 
(To others, astonished.) 
What's the matter with him? 

Eunice 

(Crosses to table between number three 

and number four chairs.) 
I always did say that men were callous things with no 
feelings, but this does beat anything. Making pigs of 
yourselves. 

(Goes through curtains into bedroom. Stella 

is seated at vanity. ) 

Stanley 
What's the matter with her? Come on, let's play. 
(Game resumes in silence. 

Stella 
How's my baby? Is he demanding his supper? 

Eunice 
(Putting bowl of grapes on backless chair. 
Crosses to Stella. ) 
Sleepin* like a little angel. Brought you some grapes. 

Stella 

(Moving downstage at left of Eunice. Leaving 

slip on back of armchair. ) 
Bless him. I just ache when I'm not in the same room 
with him. 

Eunice 
You better leave him right there till you know what gets 
settled.. Where is she? 

Stella 

Bathing. 



2C6 



Eunice 
)v is she? 

Stella 
Sho wouldn't eat anything, but asked for a drink. 

Eunice 
What did you tell her? 

Stella 
I just told her we made arrangements for nor to rest in 
the country. She's got it mixed up in her mind with Shep 
Huntleigh. 

Blanche 
(Opens bathroom door, calls out.) 
Stella! 

Stella 
(Eunice crosses to bedroom chair and sits.) 

Yes, Blanche? 

Blanche 
If anyone calls vhile I'm bathing, take the number and 
tell him I'll call right back. 

Stella 
Yes. 

Blanche 

(With difficulty in being coherent. ) 
And, Stella— that cool yellow silk — the boucle — see if 
it's crushed. If it's not too crushed I'll wear it and 
on the lapel that silver and turquoise pin in the shape 
of a_sea-horse. You will find them in the heart-shaped 
box I keep my accessories in. And, oh, Stella — try to 
locate that bunch of artificial — 

(Long difficult effort to remember name of 

flower. ) 
violets in that box, too, to pin with the sea-horse on 
the lapel of the jacket. 

(Blanche closes door. Stella turns to 

Eunice. ) 

Stella 
I just don't know if I did the right thing! 



267 



Eunice 
What else could you do? 

Stella 
I couldn't believe her story and go on living with 
Stanley I 

Eunice 
Don't you ever believe it. You've got to keep on goin 1 , 
honey. No matter -what happens, we've all got to keep 
on going. 

Blanche 
(Opening door, peeking out of b a thro on. ) 
Stella, is the coast clear? 

Stella 
Yes, Blanche. 

(Speaks to Eunice, then crosses to left of 

Blanche. ) 
Tell her how well she's looking. 

Blanche 
(Stella on her left, Eunice crosses to 
right of Blanche. Blanche steps out of 
bathroom, carrying hairbrush. ) 
Please close the curtains before I come out. 
(Closes bathroom door.) 

Stella 
They're closed. 

Stanley 

(Speaking low, at the game.) 
Hey, Mitch. 

(Dialogue in the bedroom does not wait on 
conversation' ever the poker game. Pablo 
makes a characteristic comment. Blanche 
is in her robe. She carries a hairbrush 
and brushes hor hair as she stands down 
left. There is a tragic radiance about her. ) 

Blanche 
(Speaking with a faintly hysterical vivacity.) 
I have just washed my hair. 



26; 



Stella 

Did you? 

Blanche 
I'm not sure I got the soap out, 

Eunice 
Such fine hair I 

Blanche 
(Accepting the compliment. ) 
It's a problem. Didn't I get a call? 

Stella 

Who from, Blanche? 

Blanche 
(Crosses a little down stage.) 
Shep Huntleigh . . . 

Stella 
Why, not yet, honey 1 

Blanche 
How strange! I — 

(Crosses to vanity. At sound of Blanche's 
voice, Mitch's arm has sagged and his gaze 
is dissolved into space. Stanley barks at 
him.) 

Stanley 
Eey, Mitch! Come to I 

(Mitch returns to came. The sound of this 
new voice shocks Blanche. She makes a 
little gesture, forming Mitch's name with 
her lips, questioningly* Stella nods, and 
looks quickly away. She glances from Stella 
to Eunice. Stella glances away.) 

Blanche 
(With 3udden hysteria. ) 
What's happened here? I want an explanation of what's 
going on here? 

Stella 
(Agonizingly. ) 
Hush! Plush! 



269 



Eunice 
Hushl Hushl Honey! 

Stella 
Please, Blanche. 

Blanche 
(Facing upstage toward them. ) 
Why are you two looking at me like that? Is something 
wrong with me? 

Eunice 
You look wonderful, Blanche. Don't she look wonderful? 

Stella 
Yes. 

(Blanche is removing her robe below dressing 
table. ) 

Eunice 
I understand you're going on a trip. 

Stella 
Yes, Blanche is. She's going on a vacation* 

Eunice 
I'm green with envy. 

Blanche 
(Crosses to bed, drops robe on bod. 
Exasperated. ) 

Help me, you two! Kelp me get dressed 1 

Stella 
(Taking up Blanche's dress from back of 
dressing table chair and going to her 
with it. ) 
Is this what you want?' 

Blanche 
(Taking dress, getting into it.) 
Yes, it will do! I'm anxious to get out of here. This 
place ls^ a trapl 

Eunice 
(Going to bed, picking up Blanche's violet- 



colored jacket 



.5 



270 



Such a pretty blue Jacket. 

(Stella at left of Blanche. Eunice at right 
of Blanche helping her dress.) 

Stella 
It's lilac-colored. 

Eunice 
I'm color-blind as a bat. 

Blanche 

(Spying grapes, crosses to bedroom chair.) 
Are these grapes -washed? 

(Chimes. ) 

Eunice 

(Starts down left. Puts jacket on bed. ) 

Kuii? 

Blanche 
(Below armchair. ) 
Washed, I said, are they washed? 

Eunice 
Wny, they're from the French Market. 

Blanche 
That doesn't mean they have been washed. 

(Listens to chimes.) 
Ah, those cathedral bells, they're the only clean thing 
in the Quarter. Well, I'm going now. 

(Crosses up to below bed.) 
I'm ready to go. 

(Starts to put on jacket — does so.) 

Eunice 
(Whispering to Stella.) 
She's going to walk out before they get here. 

Stella 
Wait, Blanche. 

Blanche 
(Looking towards living room. ) 
I don't want to pass in front of those men. 



271 



Eunice 
Then vait till the game breaks up. 

Stella 
Yes — sit down and • • • 

Blanche 
(Crosses to vanity. Suddenly listening as 
she puts on hood, to a far-away sound, in- 
haling a far-off odor. ) 
I can smell the sea-air. My element is the earth — but 
it should have been the water — water— the blessedest 
thins that God created in those seven days. The rest 
of my days I'm going to spend on the sea. 

(Fade off chimes. ) 
And when I lie, I'm going to die on the sea. You know 
what I shall die of? I shall die of eating an unwashed 
grape. 

(Crosses to phone table.) 
One day out on the ocean I will die — with my hand in 
the hand of some nice-looking ship's doctor, a very 
young one with a small blond moustache and a big silver 
watch. "Poor lady, " 

(As she puts on her hood. Chimes. ) 
they'll say, "The quinine did her no good. That un- 
washed grape has transported her soul to heaven." 

(Moves downstage to below armchair. ) 
And I'll be buried at sea sewn up in a clean white sack 
and dropped overboard at noon — 

(Crosses to vanity and sits.) 
in the blaze of summer — and into an ocean as blue as— 
the blue of my first lover's eyesl 

(Stella comes to Blanche, takes her in her 
arms. A strange man appears on porch, and 
rings doorbell. He is followed by a strange 
women, severely dressed in a dark, tailored 
suit, and carrying a small black, profes- 
sional looking bag. Chimes fade away as 
doorbell sounds.) 

Eunice 
(To Stella, when doorbell rings.) 

That must be them. 



272 



(Stanley rises, goes to door to answer bell, 
A low exchange between him and strange man, 
Stanley says: "Doctor?" The strange man, 
"Yes." Stanley nods, says: "Just a minute," 
Turns back into living room. ) 

Blanche 
(On hearing bell. ) 
What is it? 

Eunice 
(Covering. Crosses to doorway, ) 
Excuse me while I see who's at the door. 



Stella 



Yes, 



(Eunice comes into living room, meets Stanley 
above table. Stanley tells her the doctor 
has arrived, Sunice takes a quick glance 
onto porch. ) 

Blanche 
(Tensely, going to dressing table.) 
I wonder if it's for me? 



(Stella goes to above armchair, faces upstage. 
Eunice returns to bedroom, 
Speaks brightly to Blanche, 

Sunice 



Eunice returns to bedroom, pats Stella's arm. 

he.) 



Someone is calling for Blanche. 



Blanche 
It is for me, then! Is it the gentleman I was expecting 
from Dallas? 

Eunice 
(Looks at Stella, ) 
I think it is, Blanche, 

Blanche 
• (Turning to dressing table,) 
I'm not quite ready. 

Stella 
Ask him to wait outside. 



275 



Blanche 
I . . . 

(Eunice returns to living room, nods to 
Stanley. Stanley turns to doctor on porch 
and says, "She'll bo here in a minute," 
Doctor nods, turns to strange woman, and 
tells her same thing. ) 

Stella 
(Crossing to behind Blanche — taking slip 
from back of armchair to suitcase.; 
Everything packed? 

Blanche 
Ky silver toilet articles are still out. 



Ah! 



Stella 

(She hurries to below dressing table, opens 

suitcase, gathers up articles, packs them 

quickly — together "with slip* Stanley crosses 
to doorway.) 

Eunice 
(Crosses to doorway. ) 
They're waiting in front of the house. 

(Doctor crosses back to nurse down right 
corner of platform. ) 

31anche 
They? Who's "they"? 

Eunice 
There's a lady with him. 

Blanche 
I wonder who this "lady" could be I 

(Looks at Stella* who averts her eyes. 

Turns to Eunice.; 
How is she dressed? 

Eunice 
Just— just — a sort of— plain-tailored outfit. 

(Stella closes suitcase, stays above dressing 
room chair. ) 



274 



Blanche 
Possibly she's — 

(Her voice dies out nervously. Stanley has 
moved right in living room, and is standing 
facing drawn curtains,) 

Stella 
Shall we go, Blanche? 

(Takes up suitcase,) 



Yes. 



Blanche 



(Crosses to doorvay. Eunice opens curtains. 
Blanche stares at Stanley. Turns to Stella. ) 
Must we go through that room? 

(Stanley steps downstage to right of left 
seat. ) 



I will go with you. 



(To Stella. 
How do I look? 



Stella 



Blanche 
Then turns to Eunice.) 



Lovely. 



Lovely. 



(Echoing. ) 



Stella 
Eunice 



(Blanche starts into living room, Stella 
following. Stella hands suitcase to Eunice, 
who follows. ) 

Blanche 
(Crossing above table to door. ) 
Please don't get up. I'm only passing through. 

(Crosses to door. Stella follows closely 
behind Blanche, and Eunice comes to a 
position close behind Stella. Blanche steps 
onto porch, and stares at strange man, who 
turns to her with a kindly look. Blanche, 
retreating slowly. Looks at Stella. Back 



275 



to man. ) 
You are not the gentleman I was expecting. 

(Stella turns quickly into Eunice's arms. 

Stanley steps to behind Eunice*) 
That man isn't Shop Kuntlclgh! 

(Huns into bedroom, darts behind head of bed, 

Doctor enter room of commotion— motions 

nurse, who also enters.) 

Stanley 
(As Blanche passes him.) 
Did you forget something? 

(Stella starts for Blanche — Eunice holds her 
back. ) 

Blanche 
(Shrilly.) 
Yes, yes, I forgot something! 



s 



(Strange man has stepped into room. Stand 
by doer. Strange woman crosses through 
living room. Stella starts after her. Stan- 
ley stops Stella gently, and Eunice draws 
Stella back into her arms. Stella is now at 
left of Eunice. Mitch rises.) 

Strange woman 
(Puts her bag on bed, stands facing 31anche, 
who cowers behind screen at head of bed. 
Woman speaks in a voice as bold and toneless 
as a fire-bell. ) 
Hello, Blanche I 

Stanley 
(Turning to bedroom, standing below trunk 
at left of center door.) 
She says she forgot something. 

Strange woman 
That's all right. 

Stanley 
What did you forget, Blanche? 



276 



I— I— 



Blanche 
(Crosses down center.) 



Strange woman 
It don't matter. We can pick it up later. 

Stanley 
Sure. We can send it along with the trunk. 
(Taps Blanche's closed trunk.) 

Blanche 

(Slowly retreating in panic to down center 

and down left. ) 
I don't know youl I don't know youl 
alone — please! 

(Crosses down 



I want to be — left 



left. ) 



(Advancing. ) 
Now, Blanche 1 



Strange woman 



(Blanche falls on floor. Woman crosses to 
right of Blanche and picks her up by arm. ) 

Stanley 
(Crosses to bedroom center.) 
How, Blanche — you left nothing here but spilt talcum and 
old empty perfume bottles, unless it's the paper lantern 
you want to take with you. You want the lantern? 

(Tears lantern off light bulb, and throws it 
down on dressing table. Blanche cries out. 
Stanley turns away to center door. Blanche 
darts up center with lantern. Strange woman 
seizes Blanche's arm and forces her to the 
floor, her head toward footlights, lying 
between the dressing table and armchair. 
Following occurs almost simultaneously. Doc- 
tor crosses downstage right — then to center— 
and up through arch to bedroom. ) 

Stanley 
(Sotto voce. ) 
Keyl Hoy! Doctor, you'd bettor go in. 

(Doctor crosses to Blanche and kneels down. 
Poblo crosses up center to right of Stanley. 
Steve sees Mitch go for Stanley. ) 



277 



Stella 
(Rushing onto porch. ) 
Oh, my God, Eunice, help me! Don't let them hurt her! 
Oh, GodI Oh, please, God, don't hurt herl What are they 
doing? 

Eunice 
(Following to right of Stella, puts down grip 
betveen foot of stairs and down left pillar.) 

No, honey, no, no, honey. Stay here. Don't 20 back in 

there. 

(Holds Stella.) 

Stay with me and don't look. 

Stella 

(Eunice on second step. Stella on porch 

floor. ) 
What have I done to my sister! Oh, God, vhat have I 
done to my sister! 

Eunice 
(Still holding her.) 
You done the right thing, the only thing you could do. 
She couldn't stay here, there wasn't no other place for 
her to go. 

(During this, Mitch has started below table, 
around it, to up center, where he rushes 
Stanley. ) 

Mitch 

Youl You done this, all a your God-damn' rutting vith 

things you 

(The men grapple. Pablo and Steve pull Mitch 
off Stanley 5 and push him down in chair at 
right of table, where he collapses, head in 
arms, sobbing. Strange man has passed below 
them into bedroom, kneels beside prostrate 
form of Blanche, at her right — the strange 
woman kneeling at Blanche's left — holding 
Blanche's hands firmly behind her back.) 

Strange woman 
- (Pinioning Blanche's arms.) 
These fingernails will have to be trimmed. Jacket, Doctor? 

Strange man 
Not unless necessary. 



273 



(Stanley is standing up center, Pablo to 
his right, and Stevo above Kitch, comforting 
him. Strange man, leaning close to Blanche. 
Lifting her eyelids.) 
Miss DuBois — 

Blanche 
Please. 

(Turns to him, pleadingly.) 

Strange man 
(To woman. ) 
It -won't be necessary. 

Blanche 
(Faintly. ) 
Ask her to let go of me. 

Doctor 
(To woman. ) 
Yes — let go. 

(Woman releases Blanche. Strange woman rises. 
Steps downstage left a bit, Kan helps Blanche 
to her feet. He takes off his hat. She looks 
at him, wavering— puts on her hood — at first, 
then smiling, as she would at a new beau. She 
looks triumphantly at woman, then bade to man 
with a radiant smile. Stanley returns to his 
place at table, sits. Blanche crosses up cen- 
ter in arch, turns to man in doorway. He has 
followed her and is now at her left. ) 

Blanche 

(lias arranged her hood about her face, and 

smiles. ) 
Whoever you are — I have always depended on the kindness 
of strangers. 

(Che takes man's downstage arm, and they start 
through living room, woman following, picks 
\^o her bag from the bed. Pablo faces upstage* 
* In living room, Stanley has rested his place, 
and on above line, Steve sits down in his 
place, below table. Blanche and man go to 
front door. Stella turns as Blanche approaches. 



273 



"Varsouviana" music rises.) 
Stella 



Blanche 1 Blanche I Blanche * 



Stella? 



(Blanche ignores her sister. Man comes 
to her upstage side, and she takes his arm. 
Woman follows, and when they pass the spiral 
Eunice hands woman Blanche's bag, then steps 
a bit right, looking after the little pro- 
cession. Stanley rises, cones to loft of 
Stella, on steps, takes her in his arms. 
Pablo returns to table, sits. ) 

Stanley 



(Stella 30bs with inhuman abandon. There is 
something luxurious in her complete surrender 
to crying now that her sister is gone. Stan- 
ley speaks to her voluptuously. ) 

Now, honey. Now, love. Nov, now, love. i\ T ow, now, love, 

Now, love . . • 

(Music approaches a crescendo. The little 
procession passes across through street 
towards up left exit.) 

Steve 
(As curtain starts to fall. ) 
All right, boys — this game is seven- card stud. 
(He deals cards. ) 



(The curtain comes down slowly.) 



REHEARSAL DATA 



Cast Members 



iow 



Name 



Address 



Phone Number 



John Dillon 
Lisa Valenti 
Ardis Korsch 
Frank Siegle 
Larry Hovey 
Leanna Lenhart 
Tom Gillen 
Jeff Kless 
Glenda Apt 
Phil Moore 
Linda Rowland 
Yolondia Dozier 



817 Colorado 

1807 Todd Road 

1807 Todd Road 

Route 3 

309 North 16th 

l8l4 Hunting 

618 Marlatt Hall 

206 West Stadium 

1814 Hunting 

321 Poliska Lane 

1114 Bluemont 

1213 West 20th 
Junction City 



Pr 6-4318 

Je 9-2373 

Je 9-2373 

6-7121 

9-4494 

9-5423 
9-5301 

9-4635 
9-5423 

Pr 6-8284 
8-2186 

Je 9-4641 



Rehearsal Record 



261 



Date 



Place 



Time 



April 11, 1966 


Holton 


Hall 




7; 


00-10:00 p.m. 


April 12, 196S 


Hoi ton 


Hall 




7: 


00-10:00 p.m. 


April 13, 1966 


Holton 


Hall 




7: 


00-10:00 p.m. 


April 14, 1966 


Holton 


Hall 




7: 


,00-10:00 p.m. 


April 15, 1966 


Holton 


Hall 




7: 


:00-10:00 p.m. 


April 18, 1966 


Holton 


Hall 




7: 


;00-10:00 p.m. 


April 19, 1966 


Holton 


Hall 




7: 


00-10:00 p.m. 


April 20, 1966 


Holton 


Hall 




7: 


;00-10:00 p.m. 


April 21, 1966 


Holton 


Hall 




7' 


[00-10:00 p.m. 


April 22, 1966 


Holton 


Hall 




7: 


:00-10:00 p.m. 


April 25, 1966 


Purple 


Masque 


Theatre 


7: 


:00-10:00 p.m. 


April 26, 1966 


Purple 


Masque 


Theatre 


7: 


,00-10:00 p.m. 


April 27, 1966 


Purple 


Masque 


Theatre 


7: 


:00-10:00 p.m. 


April 28, 1966 


Purple 


Masque 


Theatre 


7: 


;00-10:00 p.m. 


April 29 , 1966 


Purple 


Masque 


Theatre 


7: 


,00-10:00 p.m. 


May 2, 19 66 


Purple 


Masque 


Theatre 


7: 


[00-10:00 p.m. 


May 3, 1966 


Purple 


Masque 


Theatre 


7: 


:00-10:00 p.m. 


May 4, 1966 


Purple 


Masque 


Theatre 


7: 


:00-10:00 p.m. 


May 5, 1966 


Purple 


Masque 


Theatre 


7« 


:00-10:00 p.m. 


May 6, 1966 


Purple 


Masque 


Theatre 


7: 


:00-10:00 p.m. 


May 9, 1966 


Purple 


Masque 


Theatre 


7: 


:00-10:00 p.m. 


May 10, 1966 


Purple 


Masque 


Theatre 


7 


:00-ll:00 p.m. 


May 11, 1966 


Purple 


Masque 


Theatre 


7: 


:00-12:00 p.m. 


May 12, 1966 


Purple 


Masque 


Theatre 


7: 


:00-12:00 p.m. 


May 13, 1966 ' 


Purple Masque 


Theatre 


7: 


[00-12:00 p.m. 


May 15, 1966 


Purple 


Masque 


Theatre 


7 


[00-11:00 p.m. 


May 16, 1966 


Purple 


Masque 


Theatre 


6: 


:30-12:00 p.m. 


May 17, 1966 


Purple 


Masque 


Theatre 


6, 


[30-12:00 p.m. 


May 18, 1966 










(Performance) 


Purple 


Masque 


Theatre 


6:00-10:00 p.m. 


May 19, 1966 










(Performance) 


Purple 


Masque 


Theatre 


6:00-10:00 p.m. 


May 20, 19 66 










(Performance) 


Purple 


Masque 


Theatre 


6:00-10:00 p.m. 


May 21, 1966 










(Performance) 


Purple 


Masque 


Theatre 


6: 


;00-10:00 p.m. 



232 



PERFORMANCE DATA 
A Streetcar Named Desire was given on May 18, 19, 20 and 
21 in the second semester of the 1965-1966 school year. All 
four performances were given in the Purple Masque Experimental 
Theatre, Gate 2, East Stadium, Kansas State University. 

Call Performance 



First Dres3 Rehearsal 
May 11, 1966 

Second Dress Rehearsal 
Kay 12, 19^6 

Third Dress Rehearsal 
May 13 j 1966 

Fourth Dress Rehearsal 
May 15, 1966 

Fifth Dress Rehearsal 
May 16, 1966 

Sixth Dres3 Rehearsal 
May 17, 1966 

First Performance 
May 18, 1966 

Second Performance 
May 19, 1966 

Third Performance 
May 20, 1966 

Fourth Performance 
May 21, 1966 



7:00 p.m. 
7:00 p.m. 
7:00 p.m. 
7:00 p.m. 
6:30 p.m. 
6:30 p.m. 
6:00 p.m. 
6:00 p.m. 
6:00 p.m. 
6:00 p.m. 



8:00 p.m. 
8:00 p.m. 
8:00 p.m. 
8:00 p.m. 
8:00 p.m. 
8:00 p.m. 
8:00 p.m. 
8:00 p.m. 
8:00 p.m. 
8:00 p.m. 



283 



Expenses of Production 

Royalty $100.00 

Set . . 47.93 

Props 21.96 

Make-up 4.54 

Costumes . 12.14 

Lighting and Sound. . . 90 

Printing - 20.33 

Advertisement 42.15 

Sales Tax . . . 8.93 

TOTAL EXPENSES $258.88 



2o4 



LIST OF WORKS CONSULTED 
Books 

Bentley, Eric. The Dramatic Event . Boston, 1954. 

Bogard, Travis and William S. Oliver. Modern Drama Essays 
in Criticism. New Y^rk, 1965. 

Brown, John Mason. Dramatic Personae ; A_ Retrospective Show. 
New York, 1963. 

Cole, Toby and Helen Krick Chinoy, ed. Directors on Directing . 
New York, 1963. 

Falk, Signi, Tennessee Williams . New Haven, Conn, 1961. 

Hurrall, John D., ed. Two M odern American Tragedies : Reviews 
and Criticis m of Death of a Salesman and A Streetcar 
Named Desire . Nev; York, 1961. 

Jackson, Esther Merle. The Broken World of Tennessee Williams . 
Madison and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 1965 . 

Maxwell, Gilbert. Tennessee Williams and Friends ; An Informal 
Biography. New York, 19&5. 

Nelson, Benjamin. Tennessee Williams : The Man and His Work 
New York, 1961. 

Tischler, Nancy M. Tennessee Williams : Rebellious Puritan . 
New York, 1962. 

Weales, Gerald. American Drama Since World Warr II . New York, 
1962. 

Williams, Edwina Dakin. Remember Me To Tom . New York, 1963. 

Williams, TonnesDGe. The Glass Mcnagorio . Now York, 19^5 • 

. One Arm and other stories . New York, 195^ 

. Three Players of a Summer Game . London, 

196a! 



265 



.. 2Z Wagons Full of Cotton and other One- 



Act Plays . Norfolk, Connecticut, 1953. 



Periodicals 

Atkinson, Brooks. " 'Streetcar 1 Tragedy." New York Times . 
December 14, 1947. 

Engle, Paul. "A Locamotive Named Reality" The New Republic . 
January 24, 1955. 

Gassner, John. "Tennessee Williams Dramatist of Frustration." 
College English . October 1948. 

Jones, Robert. " Tennessee Williams Earyl Heroines." Modern 
Drama II . 1959 . 

Lewis, R.C. "A Playwright Named Tennessee Williams." The 
New York Times Magazine . December Y» 1947. 

Moor, Paul. "A Mississippian Named Tennessee." Harpers Magazine . 
July, 1948. 

Tynan, Kenneth. " Valentine to Tennessee Williams." Mademoiselle . 
February 1956. 



A PRODUCTION BOOK FOR A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE 

by 

Rodney M. V/ilson 
B. A., State College of Iowa, 1961 



AN ABSTRACT OF A MASTER'S THESIS 
submitted In partial fulfillment of the 
requirements for the degree 

MASTER OF ARTS 

Department of Speech 

KANSAS STATE UNIVERSITY 
Manhattan, Kansas 
1966 



This thesis presents the information used in present- 
ing the play, A_ Streetcar Named Desire as a thesis production 
on May 18, 19, 20 and 21 in the Purple Masque Theatre, Gate 2, 
East Stadium. The production was sponsored by the Department 
of Speech and the K -State Players. The purpose of this book is 
to provide information on the production of the play so that 
someone reading the book would be able to understand how the 
production was done. This was done by placing in the book a 
copy of the program and the critic's review. The section on 
the author gives a brief account of his life as a background for 
his writing. The section of thematic material attempts to show 
the development of the work of the author and in particular A 
Streetcar Named Desire. The section on the interpretation and 
character discusses the director's view of each character and 
an explaination of why the, characters were costumed and present- 
ed as they were in relation to the basic thematic material . 

The setting is described in full with explanations of the 
atmosphere and mood that was intended. Included in this section 
is a list of set props and a sketch of the floor plan. Pictures 
are included to show the costumes and the effect of costumed 
characters in relation to the setting. 

The lighting for this show was fairly difficult, for in 
order to create the mood demanded by the play the director must 
also decide how visible his characters must be to the audience. 



Cue sheets corresponding to the script are included for both 
lights and sound. The allotted budget for this shov/ was 
$150.00. A list of the expenditures is included. 

The 3crj.pt is typed out in full including all the block- 
ing moves that were used by the director as well as some line 
interpretations. The script was the one used by this cast. 
The final pages show technical information about cast listing 
and rehearsal schedules as well as performances.